Dom's big break in the Irish Red Cross
THE life-saving work of one of the country's biggest charities was celebrated yesterday by the President at a special awards ceremony.
Mary McAleese was on hand to reward two Irish Red Cross (IRC) first-aid teams from Dublin and Louth with the President's Perpetual Trophy.
They were honoured for their quick thinking in crisis situations, winning an annual contest for testing groups' reactions to realistic scenarios posed by volunteer 'casualties'.
The Louth team won the event in 2009. The Dublin team had won it the year before.
This year's competition will be held on May 15 in Ballincollig, Co Cork, and the Louth group will represent Ireland in the First Aid European championships in Serbia in July.
"The Irish Red Cross has been a true friend to so many people at home and abroad over all the years since it's foundation and over the past year," Mrs McAleese said at the presentation in Dublin's Merrion Square.
Among recent projects undertaken by the 6,000-strong group includes the Haiti earthquake, where €2.4m was raised from Irish people, and the flooding in Ireland last year, where it distributed €1.4m in aid. IRC national executive committee member Tom Horwell said the trophy highlighted the best in first-aid practice.
Mr Horwell was joined by his four-and-a-half year old son Dominic at the ceremony, who helped his father give a first-aid demonstration to volunteers.