NAVAN MAN FRED Reilly owes his life to a good Samaritan – specifically, RTE radio presenter Derek Mooney.
Reilly, aged 57, had been out for a cycle after work when blacked out on a bridge on the M3 motorway after he had fallen ill.
The incident, which happened last week, was witnessed by the radio DJ, as he was driving home on the motorway below.
Speaking to TheJournal he said “Something told me to look up. I thought there is something not right about that man on the bike”. He said he slowed down and saw the man on the bike collapse. “I stopped the car under the bridge at the flyover and scaled the embankment, I got over the barriers and tried to call 999 while flagging down cars. I genuinely thought that he was going to die”.
Derek Mooney told his story on RTE’s Liveline after Fred Reilly called in. Mooney sounding rather upset on the phone stated “it was just very distressing. To be honest about it, I am still frightened thinking about it now, I found it very distressing looking at Fred.”
He told TheJournal “I was very aware that people were not stopping to help. He explained he felt he was in “fight or flight” mode and that when the adrenalin got going he was very aware of his surroundings. “A lot of cars just drove on – but Fred was on the ground at this stage, so whether they just didn’t notice I don’t know?”
This is not the first time Mooney has saved a man’s life – he admitted that over 20 years ago he saved a man from drowning in Clontarf. “Looking back, the same thing happened – I just ran in to help him, not thinking it could be dangerous for me also. Both times it has just been the case of being there at the right time”. He said the reason he didn’t highlight the incident last week on his own show is that people do good deeds like saving people every day.
“There are people that do this every day for a living and don’t get the recognition,” he said.
Reilly said, “What can I say – it was a remarkable thing for anyone to do. I owe my life to Derek.”