herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Rescue hero Joe thanks kindness of Irish people

THE US tourist who was robbed while rescuing a man from the Liffey has said he is overwhelmed by the response he's had from the Irish public since the incident.

Nebraska man Joe Sheehan (20), said he would like to thank the Irish people "for changing my initial opinion of the country".

The Herald revealed on Monday that Sheehan, a trained lifeguard with Irish ancestry, had his smartphone and wallet containing about €150 stolen last Saturday evening while helping a drowning man.

Now he is returning to Ireland to appear on Miriam O'Callaghan's Saturday night chatshow.

Speaking of his rollercoaster week, Joe said: "I have had Vodafone offer me a replacement mobile and my fraternity brothers from back home in set up a crowd-funding website to replace my stolen money and the goal was reached in less than half an hour.

Amazing

"I've given more interviews over Facebook and email than I can remember, and then, to top it all off, I am being flown back to Dublin on Friday to be on the Saturday Night with Miriam show," said Joe, a student at London's Kingston University.

"The response of everybody has been amazing. I would truly like to thank the people of Ireland for changing my initial opinion of the country," he added.

He reserved special thanks for passers-by Hugh, Cathal and Katie who came to his aid after he was robbed, treating him to a night out and ensuring he had somewhere to stay.

"Without them, I would have been lost and alone and the one thing I would like to stress above everything else is that they were my heroes," Joe said.

"I have become this 'hero' and I'm not really a fan of the word. I know it makes for a good headline, but to me, I'm just a guy from the Midwest United States who is good at swimming.

"I don't feel like a hero, I don't even really want to be a hero. I am just glad that nothing truly bad came out of the experience like the man dying," he told the Herald.

Joe said "the kindness of everyone around me, especially the Dubliners has replaced anything that I could have lost physically".

But he added: "The only thing that I regrettably lost was all of my pictures from my trip to Germany during the World Cup final and my last week in London. Those are the only things that can't be replaced."

comurphy@herald.ie

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