The Garavogue River, Sligo.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD has today presented National Bravery Awards to 21 individuals who risked their own lives to aid others in peril.
Amongst the 21 people honoured were four members of An Garda Siochana who helped rescue a man from a house that was on fire in Drumcliffe in 2017.
Also recognised was a Garda and a member of the public who rescued a man from the Garavogue River in August 2017.
Today's ceremony at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, brought recipients together to receive their Certificates of Bravery and, for five of the recipients, Bronze Medals of Bravery as well.
The annual honours are awarded by Comhairle na Mire Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which was founded in 1947 to enable State recognition of exceptional acts of courage. The Council is chaired by the Ceann Comhairle and includes the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork, the Garda Commissioner, the President of the Association of City & County Councils, and the Chairman of the Irish Red Cross.
“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.”
At approximately 8.36pm on June 1, 2017, a report of a fire emanating from a house in Drumcliffe, Co. Sligo was received by Gardaí in Sligo. On arrival at the scene Garda Thomas O’Griofa and Garda David Hannon entered the house and began to search through the smoke filled building.
A man was located in the bedroom. Garda Patrick Gallagher and Sergeant Gerard Mullaney arrived at the scene. Garda Gallagher entered the house and assisted Garda O’Griofa in removing the man to safety from the house. He was confused and very groggy and unable to confirm whether or not there was anybody else in the house. Neighbours indicated that his mother may have been in the house.
Garda Gallagher and Sergeant Mullaney re-entered the house and carried out a full search which was difficult with the heavy smoke. Thankfully the search revealed that there was no other persons present in the house. An ambulance arrived at the scene and the man was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation. A second ambulance arrived at the scene and Gardaí O’Griofa and Hannon were also treated for smoke inhalation.
For their actions Garda Thomas O’Griofa, Garda David Hannon, Garda Patrick Gallagher and Sergeant Gerard Mullaney are each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
On August 6, 2017 at 3.50 pm, An Garda Síochána whilst viewing CCTV footage in the Radio Communications Room at Sligo Garda Station observed a male individual standing up on Hyde Bridge over the Garavogue River and jumping into the river. Gardai attended the scene within minutes.
Garda Stephen Fahy and a member of the public, Adam McGoldrick, entered the river and retrieved the man. Emergency Services personnel attended the scene. The man was non-compliant throughout and resisted any efforts at rescue. He was subsequently taken to Sligo General Hospital.
For their actions Garda Stephen Fahy and Adam McGoldrick are each awarded a Certificate of Bravery.
NATIONAL BRAVERY AWARDS: Congratulations to the 5 Sligo gardai who will be honoured at the National Bravery Awards today in Dublin for their part in saving lives in a fire & for rescuing a drowning man in a river. Ordinary people doing an extraordinary job. The GRA thank you. pic.twitter.com/8NoEf2MiX1— GRA (@gardarep) October 19, 2018