A hero garda who helped to save the life of a Dublin Bus driver after he went into cardiac arrest has heaped praise on a nurse who rushed to the driver's aid and brought the runaway bus to a halt.
It is understood that the driver, Martin Christie, from Finglas, is recovering well in the Mater Hospital, after he was given CPR by Aoife McGivney, who was a passenger on the bus and on the way to work a shift at the hospital.
Mr Christie was saved by the nurse after suffering cardiac arrest while driving the 16 bus through the city centre on Monday afternoon.
Ms McGivney managed to get his foot off the accelerator and perform CPR before emergency services arrived.
Ballinteer woman Aoife (24) admitted that she was still shaken by the incident.
Garda Ciaran Harford last night told the Herald that he was on duty at the GPO when he heard the call-out and went straight to the scene.
"When I came they had taken him out and he was on the pavement," he said.
"The young girl was giving him CPR. She did an absolutely amazing job.
"I sent to try and get an AED [defibrillator]. She had already been there for a while and I saw she was getting tired so I gave her a hand."
Gda Harford said all officers learn first aid in their training but it was the first time he had had to use it to help save a life on duty.
"I was very impressed by everyone there. The passers-by, everyone's attitude was 'what can I do to help?'," he added.
Mr Christie is a former Sinn Fein councillor who was elected in 2004 and served briefly on Fingal County Council.
It is understood that Dublin Bus drivers have organised a whip-round for Ms McGivney to thank her, while Lord Mayor Nial Ring has said he wants to invite her to the Mansion House to present her with a scroll.
Mr Ring added that he would be nominating her for a bravery award this year too.
Speaking to the Herald, Ms McGivney said she had been overwhelmed by the messages of support that she had received.
"I'd appreciate seeing him, but I was ringing the hospital and I don't know if it's appropriate or not. I want to make sure that he's OK with it too," she said.
"It's just to see him alive and well would mean so much to me, after seeing the trauma that he went through.
"He's been through an awful lot so it's not something I'd want to throw on him straight away."
Ms McGivney said the reason she decided to intervene was all a blur, but she thought something had to be done to prevent the bus moving out of control.
She said she and other passengers had to force the window of the driver's door down and get the door open before they could get to Mr Christie.
"We were all just very aware we were on a moving bus and the driver wasn't well and we were still moving. There was panic," Ms McGivney said.
"The only thing I could think of was to get him off the pedals. We couldn't reach the handbrake, I didn't even know where to look for the handbrake.
"Then it just eventually cut out and came to a stop."
Amid all the chaos, Ms McGivney said she was going to go to work after the incident but eventually thought better of it and returned home.