Six residents of Cork will be honoured at the National Bravery Awards tomorrow for their roles in saving four drowning children during separate emergencies at Inch Beach, Passage West and the River Lee Marina.
Clodagh Hayes of Glanmire had just finished training at the Lee Rowing Club in May last year when she saw a young boy struggling in the water, which was treacherous due to high tide and strong current. Others tossed a life buoy toward the boy but he could not reach it and his head began to go underwater. Clodagh swam to the boy with another buoy and brought him safely ashore.
Clodagh is receiving a Bronze Medal and Certificate of Bravery.
Two young brothers from Mallow will also be honoured tomorrow at the National Bravery Awards for ensuring that their grandmother escaped safely from a fire at their Copstown home.
Peter and Rory O’Connor are receiving Certificates of Bravery for their actions on 14 October 2016, when a small house fire broke out as the boys were at home with their older sister and grandmother.
Rory and Peter, who were aged just 9 at the time, contacted their parents and assisted their grandmother in escaping the fire.
Martin Cullinane was in his apartment in Mariners Quay, Passage West, on 14 April 2018 when he heard shouts for help coming from the nearby sea.
He could see two boys struggling to keep their heads above water, quickly ran to the quayside and jumped in. He brought the nearest boy to safety first, then swam back for the other boy, again bringing him safely to shore. The boys, aged 6 and 7, made a full recovery at Cork University Hospital.
Mr Cullinane is receiving a Bronze Medal and Certificate of Bravery.
Michelle Cremin was on Inch Beach at Whitegate on 24 June 2017 when she heard cries for help coming from a 10-year-old girl being swept out to sea. Ms Cremin swam out to the girl and kept her head above water until Drew Kearney, who worked at the beach surf school, was able to swim out with a buoy and escort the girl back to shallow waters where the girl was reunited with her mother.
Ms Cremin of Ballinacurra, Midleton, and Mr Drew of Saleen, both are receiving Certificates of Bravery.
They are among 21 people being honoured at tomorrow's ceremony at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
The annual awards since 1947 have been administered by Comhairle na Mire Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which is chaired by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD.
“The presentation of the National Bravery Awards is an opportunity to celebrate the courage of ordinary people who risk their own safety to protect their fellow citizens,” the Ceann Comhairle said.
“In a world often dominated by bad news, it is important to recognise the sacrifices made by good people, whose selflessness can serve to remind us of our duty of care to one another. It is an honour to present awards to 21 deserving recipients and I thank them for their courage.”
The Deeds of Bravery Council includes the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, the Lord Mayors of Cork and Dublin, the Garda Commissioner, the President of the Association of City & County Councils and the Chair of the Irish Red Cross.
The Council may award Gold, Silver or Bronze medals as well as Certificates of Bravery.