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He’s a hero! But Star taxi driver plays down rescue

Noel Doyle, 51, of Pennywell Road, pictured at the University Hospital yesterday, is awaiting surgery on his knees and arms after saving a mother and her children from a blazing building in the Shelbourne Road on Sunday

Noel Doyle, 51, of Pennywell Road, pictured at the University Hospital yesterday, is awaiting surgery on his knees and arms after saving a mother and her children from a blazing building in the Shelbourne Road on Sunday

  • by Nick Rabbitts
 

THE Limerick city taxi driver hailed a hero after saving a mother and her children from a blazing building says he was only doing “what anyone else would do”.

Father-of-one Noel Doyle, 51, sustained knee and arm injuries after rescuing Natalie Murphy, 31, her two children Courtney, 11 and Jack, 3, plus two more adults from a blazing house fire in Thomondgate.

“I just did what any man would do – no-one would walk away from a house on fire,” he told the Limerick Leader on Tuesday.

Pennywell Road man Noel - who works for Dave Smith of Star Cabs – happened to pass the blaze while en-route to the Tesco in Coonagh Cross in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He immediately alerted the emergency services before helping the children to safety, and breaking the fall of Ms Murphy and another man.

“I looked up to the window, and saw a chap was there with a child in his arms. I told him to lower down the two children. The mother (Natalie) came out, but she fell with another man and landed on top of me. It was all accidental more than anything,” he said.

Three units of the fire brigade were quickly on the scene, plus five ambulances.

Ms Murphy, who turns 31 this Wednesday, was transferred to the burns unit at St James’s Hospital in Dublin, but is stable. Her children were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation.

Full time taxi driver Noel has been hailed as a hero - and City Council are planning to recognise his actions.

But he said: “At the end of the day, I just did what anyone else would have done. It wasn’t a question of being a hero, it was a question of doing the right thing.”

Noel requires surgery on his knees, and arms, and hopes to be able to walk again within three months.

But he says he needs to be back at work as soon as possible, because driving is his only source of income.

To add to this, he has a son Niall, 19, who is in his first year studying to be an actuary at University College Dublin.

His boss, David says: “You couldn’t meet a nicer fella. If he can help anyone in any way at all, he really will”.

Cllr Maurice Quinlivan also described Noel as a “real hero”, saying: “He literally saved lives on Sunday, and the people in the area will be forever grateful to him.”

 

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