A community worker saved the lives of 60 innocent people on July 12 when he confronted rioters who were drenching the interior of a Belfast-bound train with gasoline.  The train which left from Dublin had been stopped and boarded shortly after crossing the Irish border into Northern Ireland.

It is believed the torching is the work of dissident IRA elements seeking to undermine the peace process and create a new level of tension and violence.

The Irish Rail company confirmed on Friday that the train was doused in petrol in a “mass murder” attempt of 60 people. Security videos showed bags being thrown off the train, which initially led investigators to believe that they were being stolen.

A spokesperson for Irish Rail said, “Some were doused and some were burned.

“They were trying to set the driver's cab on fire and they also poured petrol on to some of the heavy bags and luggage.”

Steven Moutrey, of the Democratic Unionist Party said, “But for the work of a community worker on Monday there could have been mass murder.”

The hero, known only as John, told Ulster Television (UTV) that he confronted the masked men who seemed intent on killing the passengers on the train.

He said “I told him that there were women and children on the train, he said 'F them, let them burn.'” The man holding a five-gallon drum of gasoline continued on in his mission. John then moved to the driver's carriage.

“I moved from there through the carriage and started to shout at the people because somebody shouted to me that they were going to set the train on fire,” said John. “They just couldn't comprehend what was going on."

An investigation in to what could have been mass murder is ongoing.