Citations from the 29th Annual Report of Comhairle na Míre Gaile, for the year ended 31st December, 1975
Joseph Jeiter, Dromahair, Co. Leitrim
At anout 1.00pm on 4th November, 1972, a man and his nephew were fishing for eels on Corrigeencor Lake, Dromahair when their boat overturned and they were thrown into the water. The nephew held on to the upturned boat but his uncle struggled for a short time in the water and then disappeared. A local farmer saw that he was in trouble and alerted Joseph Jeiter. First Mr. Jeiter tied a rope around his waist and attached the other end of the rope to a car tube. He then swam out to the man in the water and instructed him to place the car tube over his head. He then swam to shore while towing the other man to safety.
Joseph Jeiter was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Jeremiah O Sullivan, Glanmire Road, Cork
At about 8.00pm on 22nd May, 1963, a woman was driving a car which went out of control at the Marina, Cork, and careered down the embankment into the River Lee. The car somersaulted twice and landed in an upright position. Then it began to sink slowly. Three members of the Lee Rowing Club took to the river and began to row towards the car. Jeremiah O’Sullivan and another man were on the bank and they swam out to the car. They attempted to open the car doors but could not. A lifebuoy with a rope attached was thrown to them. They fastened it to the rear bumper of the car and a man on the bank tied the other end to a tree, thus keeping the car afloat. The three rowers then arrived and one of their oars was used to break the rear window. The woman was then pulled from the car and helped onto the boat. She was removed to hospital where she recovered.
Jeremiah O Sullivan was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Robert Dickinson, Ballybay, Co. Monaghan
On 3rd June, 1973, Aer Lingus flight A.580 left Dublin for Palma at 12.55pm. At 1.50pm the passengers were informed that an emergency landing would have to be made at Cardiff Airport because of mechanical trouble. A Garda was on board and when he noticed that the stewardesses were very worried he asked them what was happening. They told him that they had been informed that there was a bomb on the plane. The Garda explained this to Robert Dickinson and asked him to assist in evacuating the airport when it landed. The passengers had become aware of the situation by the time they landed at Cardiff and were panicking. Robert Dickinson and the Garda positioned themselves at the exits to help passengers from the aircraft. The Ground Rescue Crew did not approach the plane; apparently the bomb was due to explode. Because of this, passengers were scrambling onto the wings and jumping to the ground. During this, the Garda and Robert Dickinson were standing by the exits assisting people from the aeroplane. They were the last people to leave the aeroplane having made sure that everyone had been evacuated. The Garda in question, Garda Austin Barrett, had already been awarded a Certificate and as a result Robert Dickinson was also recommended for an award.
Robert Dickinson was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Jarlath Gibbons and Kevin Scott, Tallaght, Co. Dublin
At about 2.30pm on 15th August, 1974, a 14-year-old boy was trying to bring another youth, aged 19 years, across a deep pool at Bohernabreena Bridge when they got into difficulties. Jarlath Gibbons, aged 15 years, and Kevin Scott, aged 14 years, were at the edge of the pool and they swam to their assistance. The 14-year-old was able to reach the bank but the other youth was a non-swimmer and started to panic. Jarlath Gibbons and Kevin Scott tried to rescue him but he pulled them under twice. The youth did not resurface after the second time. The two youths remained in the water, diving to try and locate the youth but they could not find him. The body of the young man was later recovered from the pool.
Jarlath Gibbons and Kevin Scott were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Deirdre Butler, Inchicore, Dublin 8
On 6th August, 1974, an 8-year-old boy was playing on the bank of the Grand Canal when he lost his footing and slid down the bank into the water. His playmates began to shout for help and their cries brought Deirdre Butler to the canal. She dived into the water and swam towards the child. The water was very muddy and it was difficult to locate the child but, with help from people on the bank, she found him and brought him to the bank. Miss Butler applied artificial respiration and the boy began to show signs of recovery after a while. He was then brought to hospital for further treatment.
Deirdre Butler was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Garda Noel Fox, Blanchardstown Garda Station, Co. Dublin
On 18th April. 1974, a 5-year-old boy fell into the River Inny at Finea Bridge, Co. Westmeath. An attempt to launch a boat and rescue the boy failed owing to the fast-flowing river. Garda Noel Fox was driving in the vicinity and the sight of people gathering on the bank attracted him to the river. Once he saw the child in the water, he immediately jumped in. He succeeded in grasping the child and taking him to the river bank.
Garda Noel Fox was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
John Allen, Ringsend, Dublin 4
On 16th December, 1973, the Annual Liffey Canoe Race was held. The older canoeists began at Chapelizod and the younger competitors at Islandbridge. Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the organisers decided to end the race at Ringsend but the older competitors failed to overtake the younger group before they entered Dublin Bay. Three boys, two aged fourteen years and one aged fifteen years, were leading the race when their boats were struck by a sudden squall and they were thrown into the water. They were in the water for about half an hour before John Allen arrived. He instructed the youths to hold on to the stern rope of his canoe and to keep kicking their legs. One of the boys had lapsed into unconsciousness, however. Another boy started to lose his grip and John Allen jumped in to assist him. He gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the water and the youth recovered. A rescue boat then arrived and the boys were put on it. Despite artificial respiration two of the youths were dead on admission to hospital. The boy who John Allen had to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to was the only one to survive.
John Allen was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
John Cowman, Walkinstown, Dublin 12
At about 4.30pm on 23rd June, 1974, a 16-year-old boy was swimming at the Silver Strand, Wicklow, when he was caught in a strong ebb tide current and swept out to sea. John Cowman was on the beach at the time and he swam out to the youth. He succeeded in bringing him to safety.
John Cowman was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Sean Wynne, Arigna, Co. Leitrim
At 11.30pm on 6th January, 1974, a car occupied by six youths failed to negotiate a bend at Blackrock, near Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, and crashed through a fence, falling into the Lough Allen Canal. The rear of the vehicle became entangled in the branches of a tree so the car did not sink completely. Four of the youths managed to get out but the two occupants sitting in the front were trapped. Sean Wynne was passing nearby and he jumped into the canal. He kept the heads of the trapped passengers over the water level until the Fire Brigade arrived.
Sean Wynne was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
John Kenny, Drogheda, Co. Louth
At 4.00am on 22nd September, 1974, a serious fire broke out on the ground floor of the Kenny residence in Drogheda. At the time, Mr. and Mrs. Kenny were sleeping in the ground floor bedroom along with their baby daughter and their three other daughters and four sons were asleep upstairs. John Kenny, aged 16 years, awoke to find his room full of smoke. He roused his brothers and sisters. He helped the younger children out through a window on to the flat roof of the kitchen. He then ran around to the front of the house and woke his parents. Finally, he ran to the rear of the house with a ladder and rescued his brothers and sisters from the kitchen roof.
John Kenny was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Aubrey Halley and Liam Malone, Fire Officers, Drogheda Fire Service
At about 1.15am on 21st May, 1971, a serious fire occurred in a house in Drogheda. The parents and two of their children managed to escape but two children, a boy and a girl, were left inside. Attempts by members of the family to rescue the children proved unsuccessful. Shortly afterwards, Drogheda Fire Brigade arrived and Fire Officers Halley and Malone entered the house wearing breathing apparatus. They found the children and carried them outside to safety. Unfortunately, the girl later died as a result of injuries received in the fire.
Aubrey Halley and Liam Malone were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
T.P. Kennedy and J.P. Murphy, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
At about 5.30pm on 26th December, 1974, a woman was walking along the East Pier, Dun Laoghaire, when she was blown into the sea. Timothy Kennedy and John Murphy, the two Lightkeepers on duty, ran to the woman’s assistance. Mr. Kennedy threw a lifebuoy to the woman but she was unable to grasp it. Mr. Murphy then entered the water while his companion held the rope. He was unable to reach the woman as he could not keep his footing. Mr. Kennedy then entered the water also, giving the rope to two women who were on the quay. The two Lightkeepers managed to catch hold of the woman and bring her to safety.
T.P. Kennedy and J.P. Murphy were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Garda William P. Doyle, Kinsale Garda Station, Co. Cork and Garda James Crockett, Bandon Garda Station, Co. Cork
At 4.30pm on 10th May, 1974, a woman reported that her son, aged 25 years, was missing and she feared for his safety. Garda Doyle and Garda Crockett went to search for the man along the coastline. They saw him walking over the rocks and when he disappeared from view they climbed down the rock face in search of him. Shortly afterwards, Garda Doyle saw a body, apparently lifeless, in the water and he waded out to him. He was a non-swimmer, however, and could not catch hold of the body. Garda Crockett then joined his colleague in the water and they took the body to the nearby rocks. When Garda Crockett gave artificial respiration, the man began to respond. He was then taken to hospital.
Garda William P. Doyle and Garda James Crockett were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
David Sheedy, Mallow, Co. Cork
At about 8.00pm on 24th April, 1974, a 5-year-old boy was playing at Anderson’s Quay, Cork, when he fell into the River Lee. David Sheedy was walking nearby and he dived into the water and swam to the child. He caught the young boy and brought him to the quayside where he was taken from the water.
John Kenny was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Gerald Faulkner, Oughterard, Co. Galway
At 3.00am on 16th September, 1973, two Gardaí were chasing a man in the Shantalla area of Galway. The Gardaí requested Mr. Gerald Faukner to drive them in pursuit of the fleeing man and Mr. Faulkner agreed to oblige the Gardaí. When the fugitive had been overtaken, the Gardaí tried to apprehend him but he jumped into the nearby canal. He was unable to swim across the canal and got into difficulties. Gerald Faulkner joined the Gardaí on the bank. He held on to the support of a protective railing which was on the bank and, with his legs submerged in the water, reached out and grasped one of the drowning man’s hands. He pulled him towards the bank and the Gardaí assisted him in taking him from the river.
Gerald Faulkner was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
John Hamilton, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
On 17th July, 1974, two boys, aged 11 and 12 years, went paddling in the sea at Dungarvan with an inflated tractor tube. They were using a paddling stick to move along and had travelled about 200 yards when they discovered that the tide was pulling them seawards. John Hamilton saw the boys in difficulty and he ran to the water’s edge and swam out to them. He brought one of the boys to the shore and then went out for the second one. A man threw a lifebuoy out to them and helped to pull Mr. Hamilton and the second boy ashore.
John Hamilton was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Mark O’Brien, Dolphin’s Barn, Dublin 8
At about 6.45pm on 12th May, 1975, Mark O’Brien was walking over the canal bridge at Dolphin’s Barn when his attention was drawn to the body of a child lying at the bottom of the canal. He ran to the bank and dived into the water. He swam out to the centre of the canal, caught hold of the child and brought him to the canal bank. The child was unconscious and was brought to hospital where he recovered.
Mark O’Brien was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Martin Kelly, Cootehill, Co. Cavan
At 4.30pm on 9th June, 1975, a number of people were bathing in the Dromore River when Martin Kelly made cries for help and saw a boy disappearing under the water. He dived into the water and swam to the spot where the child had gone under. He dived twice before he found the child lying on the river bed. He grasped the child and brought him to the bank. Artificial respiration was applied and the boy revived.
Martin Kelly was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Daniel O’Leary, Blackrock, Cork
At about 11.00pm on 7th March, 1975, Daniel O’Leary noticed smoke coming from the windows and roof of a house belonging to an elderly widow. He broke in the door of the house. He could hear cries for help coming from the bedroom where the woman was trapped. When he entered the bedroom, he found the woman near to suffocation. He caught her and brought her to his own home, which was across the street. The woman made a complete recovery in hospital.
Daniel O’Leary was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Kevin O’Reilly, Passage West, Co. Cork
At about 7.00pm on 17th June, 1975, a man was fishing from the pier at Monkstown, Co. Cork, when he stumbled and fell into the water of Cork Harbour. He was a non-swimmer and soon disappeared under the surface of the water. Kevin O’Reilly witnessed the accident and he immediately jumped into the water. He managed to bring the man to the pier and they were assisted from the water.
Kevin O’Reilly was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Esther Mullins, David Murphy, James Byrne and James Phelan, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
At about 2.00pm on 2nd May, 1975, Esther Mullins was alerted that a young boy had fallen into the River Nore at Thomastown. She waded out into the water but her efforts to reach the child were unsuccessful. The fast-flowing current swept her off her feet and began to carry her downstream. David Murphy and James Byrne arrived on the bank at this point. They both entered the water and brought Mrs. Mullins to safety. She had lost consciousness but she recovered after treatment. Meanwhile, James Phelan had seen the child in the water and he went out to him and brought him to the bank. Mr. Phelan attempted artificial respiration and further attempts were made in hospital but without success.
Esther Mullins was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery and David Murphy, James Byrne and James Phelan were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.