A GROUP of 16 courageous people who put thoughts of their own safety to one side as they rescued others from burning buildings and swollen rivers, have been honoured by their country today.
Presenting National Bravery Awards to eight gardai and eight members of the public at Farmleigh in Dublin, Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett told them; “You have done yourselves, your families, your communities and your country proud.”
Among the recipients were friends Pearse Ward (25) from Carba, Dublin, and Frank McManamon (26) from Newport, Co Mayo, who came to the aid of a woman who was being harassed by a man under the influence of drink and drugs outside the Central Bank in the early hours of June 28, 2009.
The man attacked the two young engineers with a broken bottle leaving Mr Ward with serious facial injuries requiring 120 stitches. The friends managed to wrestle the man to the ground and held him until gardai arrived.
In another instance, Garda Tom McKenna and his colleague Garda Tommy Fay, along with local man Sean Sharkey saved a 14-year-old boy from drowning after he fell from a motorboat at Lough Ramor near Virginia, Co Cavan.