Once again, a kind Irish bus driver has become something of a celebrity after stopping his bus to ensure an elderly woman wouldn’t trip on her shoelace.
William Harris was driving the 205 bus in Cork City from the Cork Institute of Technology to the city center when he noticed that an elderly lady getting off the bus had her shoe untied. As her arthritis was preventing her from doing it up herself Harris stepped out of the bus, got down on his knee, and gave her a helping hand.
The moment in Cork was captured by another passenger Clara O’Brien, who shared a photo to the Bus Éireann Facebook page, stating that the moment had “made my day.”
“I want to commend one of your bus drivers who was driving the 205 service from CIT to Kent Station at 15:40,” O’Brien wrote.
“As an elderly lady was getting off the bus she almost tripped. Once she was off, the driver noticed that her lace was undone and he stalled the bus to tell her. When she said that she knew, he realized that she wasn't steady enough on her feet to bend down and tie it herself, so he got off the bus and tied it for her.
“He was so kind to her and went out of his way to look after a customer. I haven't seen someone do something so kind in as long as I can remember and the lady was so appreciative she blew a kiss as the bus was pulling away. Your driver made my day.”
This is not the first time an Irish bus driver has been commended for having a heart of gold either. In November 2015, Belfast bus driver Paul Doyle also earned massive amounts of praise when he pulled over his bus to hand over a present of a winter coat to a homeless man he had noticed living along his route.
The image has turned the Cork bus driver into a viral sensation with over 81,000 likes at the time of writing. Many others have also taken to the comments section to share their own stories of kindness shown by the employees of Bus Éireann, Ireland’s national bus service.
“That's my brother!! William Harris my mother bought us up to respect others around!” wrote his sister Martina.
“So proud william!! Kind hearted man.”
“I'm not surprised by this bus drivers act of kindness,” Fiona Margaret Maher also commented.
“I used to take this bus from train station and was always glad to see William in the morning such a nice and happy person, one of the nicest bus drivers in Cork!”
Speaking with Cork radio station Red FM on Thursday morning after Bus Éireann allowed him to skip his 11am shift so he could deal with all the interview requests, Harris said he was shocked at the response to an action he had never even given a second thought.
"There was this elderly lady getting off the bus by Brookfield, and I noticed her lace was open,” he told the radio station.
"So I called her and said to her, 'Ma'am, your lace is open'. But she said she couldn't bend down because she suffers from arthritis.
"I just got out of the cab of the bus, I just went down - thought nothing of it - and I tied her lace.
"She said thanks and I just got back on to the bus again, like."
Harris continued to say that he never thought it would be so important for him to simply help out an elderly lady, something he did the whole time when looking after his own mother.
"It's only a small thing, I didn't think it would be that important,” he said.
"We always tied my mother's shoelaces, put on her socks for her. It's just a normal thing.
"People have done a lot better things than I had done yesterday and they never get noticed.
"It's just a small simple thing, it's amazing how it caught on."
Even if it is only a small act, William, we still commend your kindness. Keep doing us proud, bus drivers of Ireland!