Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2024
Act Of Kindness

The stars of this heartwarming viral photo from the weekend were just reunited on Liveline

Garda Paul Barnwell helped Mary Dent through the crowds going to the Robbie Williams concert at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

ON SATURDAY, 50,000 people flocked to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for Robbie Williams’ sold out gig.

The crowds packed the streets around the stadium, creating a bit of a problem for locals – like this woman, who had to get a Garda escort home with her shopping.

IMG_4999 Deirdre McCourt Deirdre McCourt

The charming scene of the woman and the Garda hand in hand was snapped by more than a few concert-goers, and the pictures went viral on social media over the weekend.

Today, the woman in the photos came forward as Mary Dent, an 85-year-old mother of eleven – and rang into Liveline in the hopes of thanking the kind Garda who came to her aid.

IMG_5006 Deirdre McCourt Deirdre McCourt

Mary told Joe Duffy that she was initially helped by two girls, who fetched the Garda when they had to get on their way.

He took my bags, and he held my hand, and there was an uproar! They were clapping and cheering, and I swear to god – I said, “Surely to god they’re not clapping at us?”

The Garda brought her to her front gate, but in all the hubbub, she never got his name.

IMG_5008 Deirdre McCourt Deirdre McCourt

Luckily, Joe’s team were able to identify him as Garda Paul Barnwell – they got him on the line, and she was able to thank him (and present him with a sponsored hotel stay in Cork for his troubles).

The pair of them swapped stories about their newfound viral fame:

Paul: One girl leaving the concert asked me if I was the Garda who helped the old lady, because I was all over YouTube… By Sunday evening I realised that yes, I had gone viral.
Mary: I had a phonecall from my son in San Francisco at 8 o’clock on Sunday morning, “Mother, your face is all over the papers!”

As Paul said: “It was a lovely sunny afternoon and I was walking with a lovely lady. What more could you want?”

Ah, it’d warm your heart. You can listen to Paul and Mary’s reunion here.

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