Soldier in daring fire rescue 'just chanced it'
WHAT should have been the first day of the rest of his life almost turned into his last, when a young soldier daringly rescued two people from a house fire.
Ryane Twomey and his friend Cillian Mahon were yesterday acknowledged for their heroism at the National Bravery Awards.
Mr Twomey, who is now in the army, explained that he was on the way to the pub to celebrate his Leaving Cert results two years ago, when he noticed an apartment on fire.
"When they told me that the fire brigade would be a few minutes getting there, I said 'we better do something now'."
The two boys entered the building, in Fermoy, Co Cork, without hesitation, and rescued the two occupants from the flames.
"I just chanced it – it was a big chance to take but it paid off," explained Mr Twomey (19), who escaped injury free.
The two young men were presented with silver medals for their efforts at the event in Farmleigh House, Dublin, yesterday.
Also among the honourees were Longford gardai James Rowan and Padraig McWeeney.
They received bronze medals and certificates for their selfless act which saved a young woman's life, after she had fallen into the water at Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon.
Garda Rowan said he "felt confident" about his swimming skills at the time, and did not hesitate when entering the water – despite the fact that he was putting his own life at risk. The father of two helped to rescue the young woman, and to resuscitate her at the scene.
Twenty-one people were honoured at yesterday's event by the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett, the chairman of Comhairle na Mire Gaille, the awards' governing body.
Ten people received certificates of bravery; while three silver medals and eight bronze ones were also awarded.