82-year-old Tommy feared he was going to die after fall

By Aideen O'Flaherty

AN 82-year-old man, who feared that he was going to die when he fell in a secluded spot just outside The Square Shopping Centre, has praised a young couple and shopping centre security guards who helped him after his ordeal.

Tommy Murphy, from Springfield, was walking out of the Tesco side of The Square on December 12, towards his car in the car park, when he veered off the main footpath and misjudged the location of a handrail.

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Tommy Murphy with security guards Mark Spillane and John Byrne. Tommy is holding his award for 60 years accident free with Dublin Bus

He then accidentally fell into an area that was obscured from the busy car park.

“I think I was there for about 20 minutes, calling out for help,” he told The Echo. “I thought I was going to die.

“Then a young lad with his wife and two kids heard me, and he went and got a security guard from The Square.

“The two of them lifted me up and walked me back to The Square.

“Then the security guards at the shopping centre had a seat outside for me and kept asking me questions to make sure I was OK.

“Then one of the security guards noticed my eye was bleeding, and he fixed up my eye. They were all very nice.”

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Tommy holding certificates he received from SIPTU for 50 years of service and for his retirement as the Dublin representative from 1952 - 2004

Tommy said he never lost consciousness during the ordeal, and he added that the security guards wanted to call an ambulance for him.

However, Tommy, who is currently undergoing treatment for bowel cancer at St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Centre at St James’ Hospital, refused.

“Then one of the security guards said that they’d get a taxi for me, and that he wouldn’t let me drive home,” he said.

Shaken by his experience, but grateful for the assistance from the young couple and security guards Mark Spillane and John Byrne, Tommy returned home in a taxi and left his car in the centre car park overnight.

The following day, Tommy’s son Robert went to collect the car.

Tommy, a retired Dublin Bus driver who used to work on the 77 and 65 routes, decided that, after 60 years behind the wheel without any accidents, he would stop driving altogether after his fall.

Shortly thereafter he was admitted to Tallaght University Hospital and credits the staff there with “bringing him back from the dead”, as he was very ill. He was discharged from the hospital on December 24, into the care of his son Robert.

Reflecting on his experience near the carpark at The Square, Tommy said: “After the experience I had, I just can’t thank the people who helped me enough.

“I know there are some rotten apples in Tallaght, but the majority of people here are great.”

To show his appreciation for their help, Tommy gave each of the security guards a €50 cheque, and he gave a €200 cheque to the young couple and their children who responded to his calls for help.

Tommy still regularly goes to The Square for his shopping, once his son Robert is available to drop him off and collect him, and he said he now always sticks to the main footpath when he’s outside the main shopping centre building.

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