A woman has thanked a hero who saved her dad from being battered in a row over a tram seat.
The 65-year-old was attacked after he told a passenger trying to sit next to him to move elsewhere in the largely empty tram, in keeping with coronavirus rules.
The man reacted violently to his request as they travelled on the Luas in Tallaght, Dublin.
The furious passenger roared “who the f*** do you think you are,” repeatedly punched him and threw coffee over him in the incident on Monday.
The man’s daughter, Kat, told Dublin Live : “Dad was sitting in one of the side by side two-seaters, where the outside seat is blocked off currently because of the ongoing pandemic.
“When dad refused, he shouted ‘who the f*** do you think you are, I’ll sit where ever the f*** I want’ and threw his coffee in my dad’s face and punched him in the face.”
This is when her dad’s hero stepped in.
The bystander intervened to protect Kat’s dad, fending off the attacker.
Dublin Live tracked down the bystander, Marius, and connected him with Kat after she said she wanted to thank him for helping her dad.
The 26-year-old Lithuanian national, who has been living in Ireland for ten years, recalled the attack.
He said: “The man who attacked Kat’s dad got on the luas.
“He came to Kat’s dad trying to sit beside him. But because of the regulations of Covid, you’re not supposed to sit beside someone.
“Therefore Kat’s dad asked the man to go somewhere else to sit as the luas was quite empty and there were plenty of seats.
“However the man did not do that and he started verbally abusing him.”
Kat’s dad put his arm across the seat explaining that he couldn’t sit there.
But the angered passenger kept pushing his arm away to sit down and that’s when the man turned violent, Marius said.
He continued: “Shortly after he threw the cup of coffee on him, he started the fight and punched him. Fair play to Kat’s dad though he was able to push the man a bit away, he then fell onto me.
“He got up and continued to try and lay the punches on him, so then I stepped up and got onto the man and pushed him away from Kat’s dad and stepped in between them to stop the fight.”
Marius said the attacker tried to start on him too, but he was able to easily push him away.
He continued: “Eventually the attacker took another seat and continued the verbal abuse but at that stage I was standing beside Kat’s dad to make sure he was okay and prevent any further escalation of the fight. I reported it then once I got off at my stop for work.”
Kat said Marius was a lifesaver.
“I knew it was a long shot to try and find him and that it would take a bit of magic.
“I’ll happily buy him that big bag of cans for helping my dad, we’re both extremely grateful for what he did.”
She added: “Dad is doing OK but he did get a black eye and won’t be rushing back on public transport any time soon.”
Dublin Live reports that the Gardai are believed to be investigating, and are asking those who may have witnessed the attack to come forward.
A spokeswoman for Transdev, the company behind Luas, added: “We are aware of the incident and it is being investigated within the Luas and by Gardai.”