| 4.9°C Dublin

Hero James who rescued toddler from road says 'it's no big deal'

A HERO student rescued a toddler wandering down a busy road a mile from his home at two in the morning.

James Ryan, of Graignamanagh, Kilkenny, was walking home from work when he encountered two-year-old Theo Costello walking along a footpath off the Old Dublin Road in Limerick.

The toddler had left his home in Aspen Gardens, St Patrick's Road, after climbing out of his cot and walking out the front door.

He managed to cross the busy N7 road at traffic lights at Singland Cross.


Luckily, he was spotted heading in the direction of Rhebogue by James (21), a part-time barman at The Icon nightclub in Limerick.

The University of Limerick student said his quick thinking was "no big deal".

"I saw something and knew it was a baby, so I followed him and when I caught up with him he couldn't talk or tell me his name, but he kept saying 'Nana', so I thought maybe his granny had fallen or something and he was looking for help," he said.

"I saw that he had come across the main road, so we walked back in the direction of where he had come from trying to find his house.

"He was shivering so I gave him my T-shirt. He was a happy little fella, so it didn't take too long to calm him down."

James spent 20 minutes trying to find Theo's home, then flagged down a taxi driver who called the gardai.

"I offered to go with the little fella but they said they would take it from there," he said.

James is studying Irish and French and wants to become a primary school teacher after college.

"I love teaching children. I really didn't think what I did was a big deal, but students sometimes have a bad reputation so it's great that something good has come out of it," he said.

Speaking about her son's safe return, Christine Costello (26), who also has a six-year-old boy, Jack, and a one-year-old baby girl, Lauren, said she was extremely thankful for James's actions.

"I am so relieved it could have been a completely different outcome," she said.


"I'm glad it's good news all round and I am very grateful to the gardai. I am very grateful to James for staying with him until the guards turned up."

Gda Orlaith Ryan said that while it could have happened to any parent, parents should be extra-vigilant at night and do all the safety checks.