'He didn’t just save her, he saved me' - Dad pays tribute to modest hero who rescued girls sinking in mud in woods
Hero gathered wood and spent almost an hour pulling the girls from the mud
The father of a girl rescued from a swamp along with her friend has paid tribute to the man who saved them.
The two girls, aged 12 and 13, got stuck in silt and mud at the area known as 'The Germans' last Tuesday afternoon, the Bray People reports.
Hero Brendan O’Reilly, from Parnell Road in Bray, Co Wicklow, was out walking in the woods when he heard screams in the distance and ran towards the sound.
He came upon two young girls sinking in the mud. The two girls were both up to their waists and continuing to sink.
He calmed them down, then gathered wood to use to get to them to help them out. It took almost an hour to pull the girls from the muddy material.
A week later, Brendan’s brother Liam posted about the incident on social media, in an effort to warn families about the danger.
One of the girl’s fathers saw the social media post, and realised that it involved his child. They hadn’t known a thing about what had happened.
"About a week beforehand she came home muddied and wet and just said they were down the beach messing and fell in puddles," the father said.
"I had warned her not to go into that area."
The man said that he got in touch with Brendan as soon as he could to thank him "from the bottom of his heart".
"I owe him a keg of Guinness!"he said.
He said he and his wife are so grateful and relieved that their daughter and her friend survived the ordeal.
"He didn’t just save her, he saved me, because the thought of not having her is unthinkable," said the dad, who has spoken to the other family about the incident.
Hero Brendan said he was "just glad I was there to help."
He said he knew the area very well, having frequented it regularly since his childhood, and knew the risk of the swamped area.
"I would even warn people if I saw them out walking," he said.
"I heard the screaming and I thought at first it was people messing but then I realised it was serious and I just ran through the woods," he said.
A modest hero, Brendan hadn’t wanted his name mentioned in connection with the incident, but he is glad that the parents ultimately found out what happened.
"The girls were very brave and calm when I was getting them out of there," he said.
A spokesman for Bray Municipal District said that while they are currently trying to pinpoint the location, they do believe it is on private property.