An Irish teenager has revealed how he spent his mid-term break distributing supplies to protestors in Independence Square as riots flared in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.
Tadhg O Maonaigh, a 14-year-old student at Blackrock College in Dublin, was visiting his Ukrainian mum and relatives in the city when protestors took over the square.
In the capital to visit his mum, who is working there, Tadhg could hear the gunfire from their home.
The Irish Independent reports how he ended up among those on Independence Square, delivering food and supplies to brave protesters.
He told the paper that with their home just one kilometre away from Independence Square, the sound of gunfire and explosions was a regular occurrence and he could see black smoke rising over the city.
Tadhg said, “I was quite afraid at times. I was worried about how long this was going to go on for, and whether I was going to be able to get back to school – I have my Junior Cert this year.”
The teenager also told the paper of his fears for the people of Ukraine.
He added, “My grandparents live outside the city and about 10 busloads of Titushkis (government paid thugs) were let out there and allowed to ravage the city, beating people up.”
He also revealed to the Irish Independent that he knows several Ukrainian boys just two or three years older than he is who were fighting with the protesters.
Tadhg added, “I was very proud to be there delivering supplies. There were people of all ages. Some of the people were very wealthy, coming in nice cars and poor people too – all proud to be doing something to help their country.”
Tadhg returned to Ireland last week and was back at his desk at Blackrock College on Monday.