Citations from the 30th Annual Report of Comhairle na Míre Gaile, for the year ended 31st December, 1976


Garda Declan O’Hora, Bridewell Garda Station, Dublin 7

At about 5.15pm on 1st July, 1974, Garda Declan O’Hora was on patrol along the Royal Canal when he heard children calling for help. He went to investigate and saw a young boy floating face downwards in the canal. He immediately jumped into the water, swam to the child and brought him to the bank. The boy was removed to hospital where he recovered.

Garda Declan O’Hora was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Sergeant C.K. Cahalane, Gorey Garda Station, Co. Wexford and Christopher Lundy, Bluebell, Dublin 12

At about 5.00pm on 24th June, 1975, three people, two women and a man, were bathing at the North Beach, Courtown Harbour, Co. Wexford. One of the women felt herself being pulled out to sea and when her companions tried to help her, they too got into difficulty. Sergeant C.K. Cahalane went into the water to help them and he brought one of the women to shallow water. Christopher Lundy had also entered the water and he went to the same woman, who clung on to him and almost pulled him under. He stayed with her until other people arrived and then he swam out to the man. Sergeant Cahalane managed to rescue the other women. Christopher Lundy went out to the man and brought his body to the shore. Artificial respiration was applied but the man failed to recover.

Sergeant C.K. Cahalane and Christopher Lundy were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Garda John Kilmartin, Milford Garda Station, Co. Donegal

At about 3.30pm on 20th July, 1975, a woman was sitting alone at the entrance to a tent at Cartronlathan, Inverin, Co. Galway. She was changing a gas cylinder on a stove when it exploded, spilling its contents all over the tent. The gas spread quickly and the tent caught fire. The woman moved back into the tent to escape the flames and found herself trapped. Garda John Kilmartin heard the explosion and he ran to the tent. He made a hole in the tent and tried to remove the woman from the flames but she had become entangled in a rope. He loosened the rope and carried her outside. Her clothes were alight and he extinguished the flames with his hands. The woman was taken to hospital for treatment.

Garda John Kilmartin was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Private George Kilmartin, Custume Barracks, Athlone, Co. Westmeath

At about 3.30pm on 8th June, 1975, a 12-year-old boy and his sister, aged 6 years, were bathing at Hodson’s Bay, Lough Ree. When the children fell into a deep hole and disappeared from view, their parents ran down and went into the lake. Another member of the family, a 7-year-old girl, followed them into the water. All of them got into difficulty. Private George Kilmartin was walking nearby and he ran to the lakeside. First of all, Private Kilmartin swam out and rescued the two girls. Then he returned and brought the mother to safety. By this time, the father had recovered and he rescued the third child.

Private George Kilmartin was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Raymond Foster, Findlater Street, Dublin 7 and Anthony Murray, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

At about 7.00pm on 3rd May, 1975, Raymond Foster and Anthony Murray were passengers on a bus crossing Butt Bridge when they noticed people gathering near the wall of the River Liffey. They left the bus and went to the bridge. They could see a man floating in the river so they climbed down a ladder attached to the quay wall. As the man drew level with the ladder they jumped into the water. Anthony Murray turned him over and Raymond Foster applied mouth-to-nose resuscitation. They brought him to the ladder and supported him while Raymond Foster continued the artificial respiration. With the arrival of the ambulance, all three were assisted to the quayside and the rescued man was taken to hospital.

Raymond Foster and Anthony Murray were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Patrick Small, Granard, Co. Longford and John Hilliard, Walkinstown Park, Dublin 12

At about 3.30pm on 12th October, 1975, a man parked his car in the car park attached to Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, and entered the hospital. He left his mother sitting in the front passenger seat. After a short time the car caught fire. Patrick Small was in the car park and when he noticed smoke coming from the car he went up to it. He was joined by John Hilliard. There was severe heat and the inside of the car was ablaze. Mr. Hilliard broke one of the windows and Mr. Small opened the door beside the woman. He used his jacket to quench flames around the woman. Both men took her out of the car and she was carried into the hospital. Mr. Small then put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. The woman died a few days later from injuries she received in the fire.

Patrick Small and John Hilliard were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Patrick Mullaney and Patrick Killalea, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

A woman was driving towards Boyle on 24th August, 1974, when her car went out of control. It crashed into a fence and the woman was knocked unconscious. The vehicle overturned and smoke began to rise from the front. Patrick Mullanet and Patrick Killalea were in the vicinity and they went to help. The car was lying on its roof and full of smoke. The doors would not open and the men attempted to turn it over but they were unable to do so. Mr. Mullaney broke two of the car windows and both men removed the woman from the car. The woman had only been carried a short distance when the car exploded. She was removed to hospital where she made a complete recovery.

Patrick Mullaney and Patrick Killalea were each awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.




John Wade, Buncrana, Co. Donegal and Patrick Mooney, Liverpool, England

At about noon on 24th April, 1976, John Wade saw a woman leap from Buncrana Pier into the sea. He dived in and grasped the woman but she began to struggle. He brought her on to a ledge running underneath the pier. Patrick Mooney was lowered into the rope by rope to assist Mr. Wade. They had to restrain the woman from going back into the sea. A boat arrived after about half an hour and the woman was removed to hospital.

John Wade was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery and Patrick Mooney was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.


Private James A. Kelly, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin 6

At about 6.50pm on 29th June, 1976, two men were bathing in the River Liffey at Athgarvan, Co. Kildare, when one of them fell into a deep hole. His companion went to help him and he too fell into the hole. Both men were non-swimmers. When Private James Kelly was told that there were men in difficulty, he entered the water. He dived into the hole and located one of the men. He brought him to safety. Private Kelly then returned for the second man but he could not find him. Onlookers on the bank directed him to the right part of the river and he was able to find the second man. Artificial respiration was applied to the two men. The first man to be rescued recovered but the second man did not respond.

Private James A. Kelly was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.


Anthony Morris, Santry, Dublin 9 and Brian Conroy, Sandycove, Co. Dublin

On 22nd August, 1976, a family went on an outing to Lough Owel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. At about 3.00pm a member of the family, a girl aged 9 years, went out on the lake in a rubber dinghy and drifted into deep water. When she realised she was unable to return to shore, she panicked and left the dinghy. Her father, a non-swimmer, walked out to her but he also got into difficulty. Anthony Morris and Brian Conroy were also at the lake and they dived into the water. They swam about 200 yards out to the father and daughter and succeeded in bringing them safely to the lakeside.

Anthony Morris and Brian Conroy were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.