January 30 is National Escape Day 2018 and so we'd like you to escape from the January and winter blues with this funny little tale of two Irish lads who attempted to make their own Great Escape. 

Happy National Escape Day 2018. Let's face it, it's been one hell of a long January and we're ready to take a break from the winter blues for some laughs. If you're feeling a bit tired and rundown this January 30 then take a few minutes to enjoy the below story of the mad dash of two young Irish lads doing their best to make their way to America. Enjoy!

Have you heard the amazing story of how two runaway Dublin kids jumped on a commuter train in Dublin for an adventure and ended up in New York a day later?

A radio documentary by RTÉ, Ireland’s national station, traced how Keith Byrne (10) and Noel Murray (13) from Darndale, a tough Dublin suburb, escaped authorities in three countries back in 1985.

Keith recalled in the interview, “My mum said: ‘don’t go far, your dinner’s nearly ready,’ ” he recalled. “I said: ‘I won’t.’ ”

They jumped a commuter train to the port of Dún Laoghaire and sneaked onto a ferry bound for Holyhead in Wales.

Read more: What you need to know about the Irish Goodbye

We're not sure this Great Escape would have worked today? Image: iStock.

We're not sure this Great Escape would have worked today? Image: iStock.



From there they caught the train to London and connected with a subway train to Heathrow Airport.

Once there they asked a random passenger where his plane was going and he told them, "New York." They told the ticket checker and security their parents were behind them and boarded the Air India plane.

“The plane was only half full so no one came near us,” Keith recalls.

Amazingly, just two months earlier, an Air India jet had blown up off the southwest of Ireland, killing 329 people.

Byrne says he was unable to eat a very hot Indian curry but watched the James Bond film "A View to a Kill."

Their journey came to an end when they left JFK Airport and asked a cop the way “into town.”

They were taken to a police station and immediately became celebrities. Their exploits made the front page of the New York newspapers. Authorities were taking no chances and they were put in a hotel suite with five security guards.

Read more: Impatient Ryanair passenger jumps out onto plane’s wing

New York was the destination this escape day. Image: iStock.

New York was the destination this escape day. Image: iStock.



“There was BLTs, chips, everything, fed us like lords. We loved it,” said Byrne. Byrne is now 35 and Murray is 37.

Both still live in the same north Dublin suburb, but they have drifted apart.

Byrne says there is no way you could get away with such behavior now.

“I don’t think there’d be any chance that you’d get away with it nowadays with everything that’s going on with the planes and the security that they have. They wouldn’t fall for that old trick of ‘my mam’s coming behind me,’” he said.

He said he still has his sense of adventure. “I love traveling to different places and me and my partner go off on drives to Kilkenny and Carlow still and bring the kids off on walks around to experience the countryside.

“I still have that kind of adventurous side to me.”

* Originally published in April 2014.

Keith Byrne having been released from the police station, safely home in Dublin, August 1985. We're sure he'd love National Escape Day!