‘He died a hero’: tributes paid to man (33) who died after pushing niece out of path of vehicle

James Moyles died at Mayo University Hospital after he was hit by car in Ballina in Co Mayo

A 33-year-old man sacrificed his life last week by pushing his niece to safety out of the path of an oncoming vehicle, his funeral Mass in Ballina, Co Mayo, was told on Monday.

Fr Anthony Gillespie told mourners that James Moyles gave himself to save the life of his beloved niece, six-year-old Croia.

“He put her first without a thought for himself such was his loving nature and his character,” Fr Gillespie said.

He said James, a dedicated volunteer with St Vincent de Paul, lived his life selflessly and pointed out there is “no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend”.


In a eulogy, Seamus Hyland, a cousin of the deceased, said James had touched the lives of many people throughout his life with his kindness and good nature.

He continued: “The last thing that James did on this earth was to make a split second decision to save his little niece, Croia, by pushing her away from danger.

“James showed great courage when it was needed most. He died a hero because of what he did.”

James Moyles, who lived at Mount Assumpta, Ballina, died at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar, on Wednesday from injuries after he was hit by a car at Lord Edward Street, Ballina, the previous day.

His niece, Croia, was injured but survived the impact.

Fr Gillespie, assisted by Monsignor Martin Keaveney and Fr Gerry Gillespie, was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Church, Ballina.

Fr Gillespie told mourners James had enjoyed his life and he lived it fully and joyfully.

Seamus Hyland thanked the first responders who attended the scene of the impact and the staff of Mayo University Hospital who had tried to save James’s life.

Mr Hyland described his cousin as “a big guy but not aggressive” and a hero based on his actions last week.

Gifts brought to the altar included a Mayo football jersey and a Manchester United scarf symbolising James’ love for his favourite Gaelic and soccer teams.

Burial took place in Leigue Cemetery.

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