Ice hockey star saves Christmas for family

A good Smaritian saved Christmas for an elderly man while driving home during the Christmas season.

A good Smaritian saved Christmas for an elderly man while driving home during the Christmas season.

Niall Mc Evoy was dropping a friend home to Faughart when he spotted an elderly man in his seventies standing at the Newry bridge on the Dundalk bypass.

On his way back from Faughart, Niall noticed the man standing in the same spot with a jacket over his head.

Becoming worried at this point, Niall turned around in his car and went back to see if the man wanted a lift.

Explaining his story to The Dundalk Democrat, Niall said “He was delighted that I offered him a lift.

“When he got into the car his nose was running and his hands were blue. I turned the heating on full and went slow so he could warm up.

“I asked him where did he want to go and he told me the Ballymac petrol station.

“Before pulling into the station, I reassured him that I would drive him to his house, no matter where he lived.

“But he insisted to be dropped at the petrol station. He then got out and I watched him for a few minutes.

“He walked towards Carlingford first and then he headed towards Dundalk. He didn’t know where he lived. I felt very sorry for him.

“I was worried about the man, so I decided that I was going to drive to the Garda station to let them know.

“Luckily enough I spotted a Garda car at the Ballymac roundabout. I followed them and I flashed them till they pulled over.

“I explained the situation to the Gardai and they took my name and number. They said fair play and headed back for the man.

“When I got home, I got a phone call from the Gardai to say the man is safely home and all is well.

“It turned out that the man had alzheimer’s and was lost.

“I felt so relieved and happy to know that he was ok. He was a genuine old man. A harmless, gentle and nice man.

“I think everybody should help out those in need in some way,” added Niall.

The Ireland international ice hockey player joked “I’d hate to see him on the road again. I’ll end up getting paranoid and patrol the streets looking for him every night.”