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Saturday 16 December 2017

Firemen honoured for rescuing horse trapped 'chest deep' in river

Members of Cork Fire Brigade honoured for rescuing horse

Ralph Riegal

ANIMAL rights activists honoured Cork fire brigade volunteers for their heroic rescue of a stranded horse from a freezing river.

ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network) presented a special ‘Animal Compassion Award’ to Cork fire brigade officials for a complex two-hour operation to save a horse trapped in a muddy river bed last week.

The horse, since named ‘Gerry’ after one of the rescuers, is now making a good recovery despite an ordeal in which he was believed to be trapped in the mud and icy water for several days.

The brigade’s Ballyvolane-based Amber Unit were honoured by ARAN for an operation that undoubtedly saved the horse’s life.

“The heroic compassion and swift on the ball action shown by members of the Ballyvolane Amber Unit is nothing short of inspiring,” ARAN official John Carmody said.

“The residents of Ballyvolane and beyond are incredibly fortunate to have emergency personnel who are standing by ready to protect and serve their residents and that includes animals too.”

“ARAN hopes that their kind actions will emulate across the country for animals who are constantly in troubling situations but who are not always so lucky as to receive the attention of our emergency services.”

Cork fire brigade’s Martin Coughlan said it was a difficult rescue operation which thankfully had a happy ending.

“We had to get lines on to the horse and then the lads coaxed, dragged and lifted the poor horse from the mud into the water and then from the water some 30m to safety,” he said.

“It took all the units involved about two hours to complete the operation.”

Cork fire brigade’s third officer, Victor Shine, said they were very proud of the award.

“Quite often the fire service does not receive the kind of rewards they should get because the fire fighters go that little bit extra so protect and rescue people in dangerous situations,” he said.

ARAN previously presented an ‘Animal Compassion Award’ in 2011 to homeless man, John Byrne, who risked his own life to save his pet rabbit, ‘Barney’, after it was callously thrown into the river by a gang. Firemen rescue horse trapped 'chest deep' in river

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