Two children in near miss with train

Fergus Dennehy

A Tralee woman has been left badly shaken after she witnessed two young children walking along the middle of a railway line, minutes before a train was due to speed past.

Ballinorig's Breda O'Shea, whose garden borders the track, was clearing out leaves at the bottom of her garden on Monday evening when she witnessed the two children, who she believed to be aged just 6 or 7, walking along the tracks.

Knowing that a train was on its way, Breda shouted at the children to leave the track, but she says that they seemed too young to understand what she was saying.

"I shouted at them that a train was coming and that they needed to get off the track, but they just looked at me and said 'really?' and then ran off in the direction away from the train station," said Breda talking to The Kerryman on Tuesday.

"I would have tried to pick them up off the track myself, but the fence was too high and it was spiked at the top so I wasn't able to get to them," she continued.

"The only thing that I could think to do after this was to ring the Tralee Station and talk to the stationmaster there; I didn't even know the number of the station so I had to frantically Google the number and ring them as quickly as possible."

"Thankfully, he was still on duty and he was shocked when I told him what I saw. He hung up quickly and rang the train driver who was luckily able to slow the train down to a walking pace, hooting its horn in the dark every few seconds to let people know it was there," she said.

"It doesn't bear thinking about what might have happened. That train drives past my house at speed - I barely hear it a second before it arrives, those children wouldn't have had a chance. It's left me awful shaken. It was just so scary; I'm just asking, 'where were their parents?' she finished

"We would emphasise that trespassing on the railway is extremely dangerous and can lead to tragic consequences," said Irish Rail in a statement to The Kerryman.