An 11-year-old Irish boy has been hailed a hero by his family after saving the life of his grandfather following a car crash.

Charlie Cullen grabbed the steering wheel and successfully controlled the vehicle after his 'Papa' suffered a black-out while driving at night.

The quick-thinking boy his driving skills to the popular video game 'Grand Theft Auto'.

The incident happened on April 1, as the boy, from Slane, Co. Meath, was being driven home by his grandfather, Finn, who suddenly collapsed at the wheel without warning and lost control of the vehicle.

As the car sped up, the youngster managed to gain control of the car and steered it away from oncoming traffic towards Slane Castle, where the vehicle hit a wall and came to a halt.

In a radio interview yesterday on RTE, the young hero credited Grand Theft Auto with giving him the skills and composure to divert the car away from danger.

Once the car had stopped, the youngster - concerned for the well-being of his 79-year-old grandfather, who was still blacked-out and bleeding - managed to help him out of the vehicle and get him home.

Speaking on Radio One's Mooney Show, he recalled: "I brought the car back onto the road, I had one hand on the steering wheel and the other trying to wake Papa up. The main thing was to wake him up.

"I didn't panic because I knew how to steer a bit from Grand Theft Auto."

According to the Irish Independent, the brave boy manged to steer the car, which had sped up to 70km/hr, after his grandfather's foot fell onto the accelerator, for 500 yards before he tried to turn left and hit the wall of Slane Castle.

The vehicle turned in the air before landing on the opposite side of the road.

The youngster was able to escape through the broken windshield, after which he rescued the pensioner from the driver's door.

Recalling the dramatic event, he added: "I can remember the car turning in the air and the lights on the wall of the castle. I can't remember much else but I brought Papa up the road, his house was about 50 yards away.

"I was linking him and holding him and he was bleeding a lot. My nana didn't know what was going on and I can remember the scream in the back of my head.

"We couldn't remember what happened to us at the time, but the ambulance was there in a flash."

Miraculously, neither Charlie or his grandfather sustained serious injuries in the incident.