LISTEN: Meet the Cork bus driver who became a viral hero after an act of kindness

A man being hailed as Cork's nicest bus driver has been identified, and he's completely bemused by the huge reaction to his small act of kindness towards an elderly lady.

LISTEN: Meet the Cork bus driver who became a viral hero after an act of kindness

William Harris, from the northside of Cork, was driving the 205 bus from CIT into Cork city centre on Wednesday when he stopped the bus to tie the shoe of an elderly woman.

The woman was in danger of tripping, having stumbled already alighting from his bus, but due to arthritis she was unable to bend down to tie her own lace.

Another passenger on the bus, Clara O'Brien, was touched by his kindness and took a photograph of the driver helping the woman and shared it on Bus Éireann's Facebook page.

Can't see the Facebook post? Click here

It immediately started going viral, amassing tens of thousands of likes in a short few hours.

William's wife, Frieda, rang him to let him know his photo was all over the internet.

"My wife phoned me to tell me, and I thought they were messing. I thought someone had seen me tying the lace but she said 'you're on Facebook'. I didn't believe it," he told RedFM's Colm Moore.

He said it was a natural reaction to help the woman, and he thought no more of it until he received the phone call from his wife.

"There was this elderly lady getting off the bus by Brookfield, and I noticed her lace was open.

"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."

William says he was surprised by the response to what he believed was just a small act of kindness.

"It's only a small thing, I didn't think it would be that important.

"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."

Listen to the full interview here:

William has been inundated with interview requests today so his proud employers Bus Éireann, who describe him as a "committed and modest" employee, told the Irish Examiner that they kindly allowed him to skip his 11am shift to meet the demands.

"Willie is a committed and modest driver, who finds all the attention since yesterday both surprising and flattering.

"Many Bus Éireann drivers have a long service record with the company and know their customers personally.

"They are part of the communities in which they provide services, and often go beyond the call of duty to help passengers.

"We are proud of their commitment to both, and commend this driver and the many others who carry out similar actions on a regular basis."

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