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Wicklow People

Singer Mary Byrne tracks down man who helped sister


Singer Mary Byrne

Singer Mary Byrne

Singer Mary Byrne

X-Factor star Mary Byrne has tracked down the kind-hearted good Samaritan from Brittas Bay who came to the aid of her sister Betty in her hour of need, following a radio and Facebook appeal.

Mary rose to fame in 2010 after becoming a finalist on the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010.

On Facebook, she described how a complete stranger found her sister, who has dementia, wandering the roads in the middle of the night, early in the morning, and drove her home to Tallaght, even stopping off for a cup of tea along the way.

Betty had managed to slip out of the family holiday home in Brittas Bay under cover of darkness in just her dressing gown and bare feet, without anyone noticing.

Mary wanted to locate the man so her whole family could thank him for his act of kindness.

Mary posted: 'Friends, especially in Wicklow and Dublin. I am away spending time with my sister who has dementia. During the night/early morning she went made her way out of our holiday home in Brittas Bay in only her dressing gown and bare feet and ended up back at her house in Tallaght in Dublin. She is now safe. She told us a man found her and gave her a lift, even stopping to get her a cup of tea on the journey back to Dublin and he dropped her off at her house. We are extremely grateful to this man and would really like to find him, and find out where he picked her up from. But mostly to thank him for looking after her.'

She asked everyone to share the post so she could hopefully track down the helpful stranger, having also appeared on RTE's Liveline, where she went into greater detail of the family's‑ initial shock when they realised Betty was missing from the holiday home.

Speaking on the radio, Mary said: 'Betty slept in the bed beside me, there were two beds in our room, I saw her going to sleep that night. I fell into a deep sleep, we all did. I got up the next morning, about 10.25, my niece was sitting on the sofa, looking after her little toddler and I said, "Where's your mam?" and she said, "She's in bed", I said "No she's not" and that was the first time we knew she was gone.

'It was horrible, we searched the holiday park, we didn't think she'd be able to get out of because of the code on the gate, my niece rang her and she was in the kitchen in Tallaght. We asked her how she got there, she first of all said a fella pulled up and she knew him, she's one of these people who wouldn't get into a stranger's car.

'For her to get into the car she must have been exhausted, the man said he'd bring her to the police station, she had turned up at the door the next morning at 7.45 a.m.."

'She had gone out with no shoes, a damp pair of jeans my niece had washed for her and a blue house coat like a long dressing gown. We assume he stopped at the garage, she said she had a lovely cup of tea going home. I would love to just say thank you and to bring him for a meal and to just shake his hand. There are good people in the world and we forget this sometimes,' said Mary.

Her appeal had the results she was hoping for as the man in question came forward and contacted her, but asked for his identity to remain a secret.

'We found him,' stated Mary on Facebook. 'Thank you to Liveline and all of your support we found the knight in shining armour that saved my lovely sister.

'Myself and my nieces met him last night. A beautiful man, he told us about finding her at 5.30 a.m. He knew she was distressed and thought maybe she had a domestic argument and needed to get away. He suggested the gardai but she insisted she just wanted to go home so this honourable man brought her all the way to Dublin before returning back to Brittas Bay again.

'She was chatty in the car and he understandably didn't realise she had dementia. In hindsight he said she only talked about her (late) husband and times gone by but knowing her, she probably just kept yapping without him getting a word in. He did stop and get her a cup of tea on the way and made sure she got into her house safely.'

While he doesn't consider himself a hero, the man who assisted Betty contacted the family so he could fill in Betty's missing hours for them.

'So here we have a man, who did the most amazing act of kindness and care without a second thought and without even thinking about being thanked, that is a true gentleman and myself and the girls will forever be grateful to him, He is our hero. Thank you sir and thank you all for sharing which led to us finding him,' added Mary.

Online Editors