herald

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Injured Luas security heroes who broke up violent street fight say they would do 'right thing' again

Two hero Luas security men saved man who was being stabbed

Marius Beniusis(29) and James Finnerty (28). Photo: Anthony Daly
Marius Beniusis(29) and James Finnerty (28). Photo: Anthony Daly
James Finnerty(28) with Marius Beniusis (29). Photo: Anthony Daly.

TWO hero Luas security men who saved a man who was being stabbed have said they'd have no hesitation in doing the same thing again as "it was the right thing to do".

James Finnerty (28) and Marius Beniusis (29) were pepper sprayed and James was himself stabbed in the leg when they intervened to stop a violent street fight at a Luas stop last week.

Lord Mayor Christy Burke last night praised their bravery, saying that they had potentially prevented the stabbing victim from being killed.

"They are very courageous... It's a sad reflection to have to say that but that seems to be a regular occurrence. If it wasn't for the security staff we could be talking about loss of lives in this case certainly," Mr Burke said.

But for James and Marius it was all in a day's work.

The incident occurred on Easter Sunday when the pair saw a man being attacked at the Milltown tram stop.

They activated the emergency brake, leapt from the tram and raced to his aid.

In the fracas, that reportedly involved up to six men, James received a stab wound to his right leg while Marius badly tore ligaments in his right hand.

Despite the injuries James said they would step in again if they had to.

"It was the right thing to do. Our job is to look after passengers on the Luas and keep them safe, whether they are on the platform or the tram.

"I've eight years experience in security and Marius has over 10 so I felt we were able to handle the situation," said James.

"Of course we would step in and save someone's life again. It's the decent thing to do. You just live your life as best you can. Hopefully, if it happens again, I won't get stabbed," James added.

Four people have since been arrested and released without charge with files to be prepared for the DPP.

Both men have had difficulty sleeping since the incident.

James, from Carrick-on-Shannon, said that for him it's the "shock" of being stabbed.

"It just keeps going around in your mind. I keep seeing the knife just coming at me ... I was very, very lucky that it caught me where it did as it could have been a lot worse," he said.

Dad-of-two Marius, originally from Lithuania, is to marry his fiancee at the end of the month.

He said they didn't realise a knife was involved when they intervened.

"We thought at first it was just a bad fight that was going on between a few lads," he said.

James had to cancel a holiday while Marius has had to pull out of a body-building competition.

The two men are recuperating at home but will return to work when their injuries heal.

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