'One of life's true heroes': President Higgins praises young Traveller who rescued two from drowning

'One of life's true heroes': President Higgins praises young Traveller who rescued two from drowning

Miley Doran rescued Stacey Foley and her daughter Sophie Foley-Smith, 13, after the pair got into difficulty while on a family outing near the banks of the River Barrow in Carlow.

A 17-year-old boy who saved a mother and daughter from drowning last month has been hailed a hero and an inspiration by the President.

Miley Doran has received an invite from President Michael D Higgins to visit Áras an Uachtaráin once it is safe to do so.

On May 30, Mr Doran rescued both Stacey Foley and her daughter Sophie Foley-Smith, 13, after the pair got into difficulty while on a family outing near the banks of the River Barrow in Carlow.

President Higgins said he was enormously impressed to hear of the young Traveller boy's courageous and selfless actions.

"That you did so with no thought for your own safety marks you out as one of life's true heroes, and a citizen of whom we can be very proud indeed," President Higgins wrote.

You are also an inspiring role model for a generation of young Irish citizens. 

President Higgins said he was looking forward to welcoming Mr Doran to the Áras and offered his deepest gratitude to the teenager for his valiant actions.

Teenager sprang into action

Speaking after the frightening incident, Mr Doran said he was down by the river when a child ran over screaming that her mother was drowning.

He quickly sprang into action when he saw Stacey in the water "screaming in fear of her life".

The brave teen said he had no choice but to jump in and pull the two of them out.

At the time, Ann Langton, Stacey's mother, called for Mr Doran to be honoured with a National Bravery Award for his heroic actions.

'He is our hero'

"He is our hero — I could have been planning funerals today," she said.

Ms Langton said he did not think twice or consider his own safety before he ran towards the water and jumped in to save Stacey and Sophie.

“He should be an inspiration to all the young people in Carlow," she said.

Meanwhile, the humble boy had not even mentioned to his mother that he had rescued two people.

As news of her son's heroism spread on social media, Maggie soon discovered what he had done for Stacey and her family.

"I am so proud of him. If he wasn't there, God knows what would have happened," Maggie said.

Miley's story was shared thousands of times on social media as he was widely hailed for his courage, quick-thinking and selflessness.

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