Citations from the 34th Annual Report of Comhairle na Míre Gaile, for the year ended 31st December, 1980
George Jeffries, Naval Base, Haulbowline, Co. Cork
At 10.30pm on 2nd August, 1978, as the launch ‘David F’ was pulling away from Cobh, a shout of ‘help’ was heard from the water in the vicinity of the promenade pier. With the aid of a searchlight, a person was seen floating in the water. Chief Petty Officer George Jeffries, who was on board as a passenger, dived into the water and, with the aid of a lifebuoy, brought the man alongside the launce. The crew helped them aboard.
George Jeffries was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Edward Hayes, Ballybought Street, Kilkenny
On the night of 24th December, 1978, a 23-year-old man fell into the River Nore at Canal Walk, Kilkenny. Mr. Edward Hayes came to the scene and he dived into the water and was swept downstream by the strong current. However, he was able to recover and he swam to the drowning man and brought him to the side of the river where they were helped out by members of the fire brigade.
Edward Hayes was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.
Michael Enright, Naas, Co, Kildare
At about 9.00pm on 5th April, 1979, Mr. Michael Enright was walking near the canal at Naas. A young girl informed him that her 4-year-old brother had fallen into the canal. Mr. Enright ran to the spot but could only see bubbles rising to the surface. He waded into the water until it was up to his chin. Just then the boy rose and Mr. Enright caught hold of him. He started to pull the boy to the bank but they became entangled in barbed wire which was concealed in the murky water and had to wade out again. He eventually managed to bring the boy to the bank where he applied artificial respiration and the boy recovered.
Michael Enright was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
James Francis Corrigan, Achill Sound, Co. Mayo
At about 2.30pm on 15th August, 1979, a yawl race was organised to take place at Achill Sound. One of the boats was passing underneath a bridge when the mast got caught and the boat capsized, throwing the four occupants into the water. Two of the occupants swam ashore and another held onto the capsized boat until he was rescued but the fourth was swept seawards in a strong current. One of the spectators on the bridge, James Corrigan, jumped into the sea below to rescue him. After a swim of 100 yards, he reached the drowning man, who had gone under twice at this stage. Both men were then rescued by a local punt and taken ashore. The man was then removed to hospital by ambulance.
James Francis Corrigan was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.
James Nation, Blackrock, Cork
On the evening of 25th May, 1979, an elderly widow was in her upstairs bedroom when she heard the crackling of paper burning. She went downstairs to investigate but could not enter the kitchen because of the dense smoke. She started to go back upstairs for her money. James Nation was driving by when he saw smoke coming from the house. He parked his car and called out to see if anyone was inside. When the woman answered, he burst in the door and felt around the floor for her. He found her on the stairs and pulled her outside. She then was removed to hospital.
James Nation was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.
William McKeever, Ballybrack, Co. Dublin
Shortly after 3.00pm on 30th July, 1978, two girls went for a swim in the sea at Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow. After about 15 minutes, they found themselves out of their depth about 200 yards from the shore and started to panic. One of the girls tried to bring the other back to shore but was unsuccessful. She swam towards the shore for assistance. Mr. McKeever was swimming nearby and he went to help her and supported her for a short time. He got into difficulties also and drifted away form her. Other rescuers arrived and helped them from the shore but Mr. McKeever could not be revived and tragically died.
William McKeever was awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.
Patrick Brendan Forde, Raheny, Dublin 5
On 31st August, 1979, Patrick Forde was walking along Sir John Rogerson’s Quay when he saw a man throw himself into the River Liffey. He dived into the water, swam to the man and held his face up from the water. The man struggled with Mr. Forde but he managed to force the man’s arms through a lifebelt which was thrown to him by two men from the quayside. He brought the man to the steps on the quayside. The two men on the bank and Mr. Forde tried to bring the man to the top of th quay wall but in the struggle they all fell into the river. At this stage, the fire brigade arrived and threw a rope to them. Mr. Forde tied a rope around the man and he was pulled out of the water.
Patrick Brendan Forde was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Ronald P. O’Driscoll, Bantry, Co. Cork
On 15th September, 1979, some men were engaged in building a helicopter landing pad on the Bull Rock Lighthouse. As the helicopter arrived with concrete one of the workmen slipped and was blown over the edge of the platform. As he was falling, Ronald O’Driscoll managed to catch hold of him until he got a grip of a safety rope. He then climbed down the scaffolding at the side of the platform and assisted the man back to the top of the platform. Mr. O’Driscoll’s action prevented the man from falling 200 feet to the sea below.
Ronald P. O’Driscoll was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Fiona Kenneally and Karen Kelly, John’s Hill, Waterford; Declan Nash, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford and Sean Hennessy, Ferrybank, Waterford
On the afternoon of 20th July, 1979, three teenage girls put to sea in a small boat from Counsellor’s Strand, Dunmore East. When the boat had gone out 300 yards, it filled up with water and overturned, throwing the three girls clear. Fiona Kenneally and Declan Nash, aged 17 and 18 years respectively, were climbing a hill when they heard screams for help. They ran down the hill and dived into the sea. They swam out to the girls and brought two of them back to shore. Karen Kelly, aged 17 years, swam out and caught hold of the third girl. On the way back to shore, she was met by Sean Hennessy who brought them ashore in his boat.
Fiona Kenneally, Karen Kelly, Declan Nash and Sean Hennessy were each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
Matthew Ryan, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
On the evening of 18th May, 1980, a man went out driving with his wife, their 2-year-old son and some other relatives. They stopped in the Angler’s Rest in Carrigohane, Co. Cork, and bought some drinks. After a quarter of an hour, they noticed that the young boy was missing and, at the same time, there was a shout that there was a child in the River Lee. Matthew Ryan, who was nearby, jumped into the river and brought the child safely to shore.
Matthew Ryan was awarded a Certificate of Bravery.