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we can be heroes

Touching comic tells story of homeless man who saved rabbit from Liffey

John Byrne jumped in after his pet rabbit Barney in 2012 after another man threw the animal into the water.

Darrin O'Toole Darrin O'Toole

SOMETIMES HEROES ARE found in unexpected places.

That’s the message in a very touching comic written by a Dublin writer about the homeless man who jumped into the River Liffey in 2012 to save his pet rabbit.

John Byrne was begging on O’Connell Bridge when a man snatched his beloved rabbit Barney from him and hurled the animal into the water below. Comic writer Darrin O’Toole, along with artist Barry Keegan and colourist Dee Cunniffe, have now displayed his bravery and his love for his pet in a beautiful online comic entitled ‘We Can Be Heroes’.

Like any story about heroes, this one starts with a dastardly move on the part of the villain – a man who was later sentenced to four months in prison for animal cruelty and torture.

Darrin O'Toole Darrin O'Toole

Da Da

The hero’s love gives him the strength he needs to save the day, and in this case, Barney the rabbit.

Darrin O'Toole Darrin O'Toole

O’Toole finished off the comic with a note to readers telling them that this is “a message that every one of us needs to learn and re-learn every now and again”.

This is a story about helping those who need it. But it’s not a story. It’s an example. It’s one we should all follow, one we should aspire to emulate.  Homelessness is a real problem. It’s something that needs heroes. You can be that hero.

The Dublin writer is urging readers who are inspired by the story to donate to homeless charities like Simon Community or the Peter McVerry Trust “or just give a cup of coffee, some change, or your ear”.

The full comic can be seen here and you can find more of Darrin O’Toole’s work on his website

Read: Man jumps into Liffey to save pet rabbit>

Read: 39 families were made homeless in July in Dublin alone>

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