A talented Kilkenny sportsman who found a toddler wandering on a busy road in the dead of night is modest about his actions which may have saved the youngster’s life.
James Ryan from Graignamanagh is a student at the University of Limerick where he is studying an Honours Arts degree in Irish and French.
The keen sportsman who is also the captain of the university’s rugby team was returning home from work in a local nightclub when he spotted the two-year-old wandering on the road.
His mother, Joan who is a teacher in New Ross said she was ‘proud and delighted’ with her son’s actions.
“James was coming home from work at shortly after 2am yesterday morning when he saw a toddler wandering on the road. He followed him at a safe distance so as not to scare the child and contacted the gardai and flagged down a passing taxi,” she said.
“I was speaking to James there, he is shying away from all the attention. He just told me anyone would have done the same thing,” she said.
Theo Costelloe, from Aspen Gardens in Limerick, let himself out the front door shortly after 2am yesterday morning.
He was found by James on the Limerick to Dublin road after he had crossed the N7 wearing only a onesie pyjama suit and holding onto a blanket.
He was reunited with his mother Christine by gardai.
“He had got out of the cot. He had climbed out of the cot a couple of mornings beforehand, but he had just come straight downstairs to me. It’s very unlike him not to come in and check on me inside in bed or just to make some sort of noise but he didn’t.
“He just walked straight out of his cot, closed his bedroom door behind him, and off (he went) down out the front door,” Christine added.
Christine and the gardaí praised the actions of James, who along with a taxi driver, kept Theo safe until gardaí arrived on scene.
“James Ryan spotted him on the Dublin Road and young Theo wasn’t stopping for anyone, so he kept on walking and James followed him until a taxi driver pulled up, and between the two of them, they were able to get in contact with us and we arrived at the scene,” a garda spokesman said.