Master of Ceremonies

 Aoibhín Garrihy

Media Appreciation Awards

Presented in appreciation for covering drowning prevention issues throughout the year.

Local Radio Station Award
Local Radio Station AwardMidlands 103FM (Offaly)
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National Radio Broadcaster
National Radio BroadcasterRTÉ Documentary On One - Sarah Blake and Lorna Siggins, Joint Producers
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National TV Broadcaster
National TV BroadcasterRTÉ News – Sharon Tobin, Reporter
More Info
Provincial Press Award
Provincial Press AwardThe Clare Champion - Colin McGann, Editor
More Info
National Press Award
National Press AwardThe Irish Times – Jennifer O’Connell, Journalist
More Info
Media Appreciation Award – online broadcasting
Media Appreciation Award – online broadcastingHer.ie - Kat O’Connor, Journalist
More Info

Community and Social Responsibility Awards

In recognition of the support given to Water Safety Ireland’s community work, charitable activities and commitment to drowning prevention initiatives and the reduction of aquatic related injuries

Timemark
More Info
Amanda Cambridge & Leianne Maverley
More Info
Coláiste Pobail Setanta, Clonee, Dublin 15 – Cara Doyle, Teacher
More Info
Danger Of Using Inflatable Toys, a video campaign by Cork Co Co and partners – Caroline Casey, Cork Co Co
More Info
Smart Dublin
More Info
Gráinne & Dee Gavigan, sisters and cold-water swimming enthusiasts
More Info
University of Limerick Sport Arena, – Alan Ward and team
More Info
Amber Thursday – Declan Keogh at Kildare Co Co
More Info
Emergency Services Day – Seamus O’Neill
More Info
Swimming A Long Way Together – Vaness Dawes, Long Distance Swimmer
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Wix and Wax – Danielle Kenneally and Chantell Keane
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Galway Bay User’s Group – Kevin Gately & Michael Swan
More Info

Leon Quinlan Perpetual Award

Leon Quinlan Perpetual Award
Leon Quinlan Perpetual Award CLONMONEY NATIONAL SCHOOL
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Avery Greene Memorial Award

Avery Greene Memorial Award
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Long Service Awards

Long Service Awards are presented in recognition of a voluntary commitment to promoting a public awareness of water safety and rescue based on the humanitarian goal of saving life.

Long Service Awards
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Volunteer of the Year Award

Volunteer of the Year
Volunteer of the Year Andrew Lally
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 Sports Persons of the Year Award

This year, Water Safety Ireland is recognising those volunteers who have made significant contributions to lifesaving sport in Ireland. It takes an army of enthusiastic volunteers to coach, chaperone, organise, and host competitions and training nationwide. Thanks to their selfless dedication, Lifesaving Sport participation levels is at an all-time high and their dedication is also reflected in the number of title-winning performances at national and international competitions.

This year, we recognise the efforts of two people who to this day remain pillars of lifesaving sport volunteerism. Together, they were founding members of what is now called the Sports Commission which has developed the traditional lifesaving competitions in line with international best practice. These two individuals have been the backbone of many Irish teams that have now gone on to become an established force to be reckoned with at international lifesaving competitions.

 Sports Persons of the Year Award
Sports Persons of the Year AwardBrendan McGrath
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 Sports Persons of the Year Award
Sports Persons of the Year AwardSeamus O’Neill
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Rescue Appreciation Awards

Rescue Appreciation Awards
Rescue Appreciation Awards Declan Reid
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Rescue Appreciation Awards
Rescue Appreciation Awards Stephen Clarke
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The Seiko Just in Time Award

Presented to those who came to the assistance of person(s) in difficulty in water and in danger of drowning 

AwardeesCounty / Location
 Ruairi Brennan
 Laois
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 Tina Kavanagh
 Kilkenny
More Info
 Gary Heelan
 Cork
More Info
 Patrick Mungovan
 Clare
More Info
 Zoe Lally
 Sligo
More Info
 Daragh Flynn
 Wicklow
More Info
 Ger Daly
 Galway
More Info
 Philip Owens
 Louth
More Info
 Michael Carrig and Marguerite Carrig
 Clare
More Info
 Nikki Wan
 Dublin
More Info
 Tommy Moyna
 Monaghan
More Info
 Mark Kavanagh
 Wexford
More Info
 Joseph McNulty, Kristin McNulty and Sean McNulty
 Donegal
More Info

Media Appreciation Awards

Local Radio Station Award: Midlands 103FM (Offaly)

Midlands 103FM is a local independent radio station broadcasting from Tullamore, Co Offaly to counties Laois, Offaly and Westmeath. Thanks to their coverage of water safety issues, listeners are more aware of the dangers at aquatic environments, and for this we are very grateful.

National Radio Broadcaster: RTÉ Documentary On One – Sarah Blake and Lorna Siggins, Joint Producers

Radio Telefís Éireann began broadcasting in 1926, making it one of the oldest continuously operating public service broadcaster in the world. Their Doc on One series brings you multi award-winning documentaries that tell real life stories. In this case, Sarah Blake and Lorna Siggins created their Documentary on One production “Miracle in Galway Bay”, one year on from the miraculous rescue of two young women stranded on paddle boards in Galway Bay. We are grateful to RTÉ for liaising with Water Safety Ireland on this and other water safety issues to deliver important messages to the public and for helping us to raise awareness and to change attitudes and behaviours at our aquatic environments.

National TV Broadcaster: RTÉ News – Sharon Tobin, Reporter

Throughout the summer, thousands of people were attracted to Ireland’s beaches and inland waterways nationwide. The waterways provided some relief from the Covid-19 pandemic and the public were able to enjoy these waterways thanks to the presence of trained Lifeguards. The importance of swimming at Lifeguarded waterways was rasied on a number of occasions by RTÉ Reporter Sharon Tobin, who took the opportunity to raise get some great footage of all those who train and work so hard to keep people safe while enjoying the water. We are grateful to Sharon Tobin and the RTÉ News team for helping us to promoting this lifesaving resource.

Provincial Press Award: The Clare Champion – Colin McGann, Editor

The Clare Champion is a weekly newspaper that was first published in 1903. A strong voice for the local community, the newspaper has promoted many of Water Safety Ireland’s messages to readers including the lifesaving classes conducted by our volunteers at the Rescue and Training Centre in Lahinch. They also provided particularly supportive coverage about lifesaving following the tragic loss of local Lifeguard and Surf Life Saving team member, Fionn O’Brien, following his accidental death in a surfing incident this past summer. We congratulate the Champion and thank them sincerely for helping to highlight water safety awareness.

National Press Award: The Irish Times – Jennifer O’Connell, Journalist

The Irish Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper and online digital publication that first printed in 1859. Their printed and digital editions have covered many topical water safety issues throughout the year. An example is an article by Jennifer O’Connell in which she described how experienced swimmer Jack Eoin Rua O’Neill quickly got into trouble in swells that he compared to being tumbled around in a washing machine. On the day of publication, seven people had drowned in seven days. We are truly grateful for this support as it helps to encourage readers to talk about water safety with friends and family.

Media Appreciation Award – online broadcasting: Her.ie – Kat O’Connor, Journalist

Her.ie is a lifestyle website that attracts an audience of 1.4 million people each month and has a following of 684,000 across their social channels. It provides a platform for information that engages readers through the lens of real women’s lives. Journalist Kat O’Connor illuminated on the tragedy of child drownings, in this case through the eyes of Amanda Cambridge whose loss of her son Avery prompted Amanda to engage with journalists like Kat to water safety education for young children. We are grateful to her.ie for raising awareness with their readers.

Community and Social Responsibility Awards

Timemark

Timemark Limited is a distributor of leading Watch and Jewellery brands. Founded in 1979, and entirely Irish owned and managed, Timemark sponsors the SEIKO Just In Time Award, which they have supported since its inception in 2001 and for which we are deeply grateful.

Amanda Cambridge & Leianne Maverley

Amanda Cambridge, whose three-year-old son, Avery Greene, drowned in a pool while on a family holiday in Alicante in Spain in 2019, worked as an Ambassador to promote Water Safety Ireland’s ‘Hold Hands’ programme for pre-schools, creches and early learning centres. Amanda’s friend Leianne has also played a formative part in reaching out through social media channels to help encourage parents and Early Learning Centres to embrace the programme. Their efforts will help to save lives and change the beahviour of children and parents when visiting waterways and for this we are truly grateful. They are very deserving recipients of our appreciation.

Coláiste Pobail Setanta,

Clonee, Dublin 15 – Cara Doyle, Teacher

Cara’s Transition Year class participated in the Young Social Innovators of Ireland for which they created an awareness campaign about the importance of being water safety aware. They organised a number of fundraisers and raised €1263.00 for Water Safety Ireland drowning prevention initiatives. We are delighted to recognise their efforts to help others stay safe around water.

Danger Of Using Inflatable Toys, a video campaign by Cork Co Co and partners – Caroline Casey, Cork Co Co

Cork County Council in conjunction with Water Safety Ireland, the RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard, and several other Local Authorities produced two short films on the dangers of using inflatable toys in open water. One of the educational videos is aimed at primary school children and the other targets adult audiences. The key messaging uses real life scenarios to show that inflatable toys are a drowning risk and should ever be used in open water. Thank you to all for showing how successful partnerships can help reduce drownings. Proudly supported by Louth County Council, Fingal County Council, Westmeath County Council, Galway County Council, Kerry County Council, Donegal County Council and Limerick City and County Council.

Smart Dublin – a collaboration of Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council – Jamie Cudden

This Award goes to Smart Dublin for coordinating three companies to pilot a low-cost alert system that reports when ring buoys are used for a rescue, go missing or are tampered with. This will help Local Authorities ensure that their public rescue equipment is in place and ready for use when needed to help save a life. An Award also goes to the three companies that spent a year designed the technology and now enter phase two that will see ten local authorities install this lifesaving solution. Congratulations to the three companies which are:

Civic Integrated Solutions
MSEMICON Teo
ZiggyTec Ltd

Gráinne & Dee Gavigan, sisters and cold-water swimming enthusiasts

Gráinne and her sister Dee are year-round open water swimmers. Over the last couple of years they have seen many people that are not used to cold water, get into difficulty when they overestimate their ability and underestimate the risks. They came up with a simple message aimed especially at newcomers, called “Hot Tips 4 Cold Water”. Their four basic tips – LOOK UP, GEAR UP, BUDDY UP and WARM UP – have already started to circulate nationwide and we are grateful for their efforts to help educate a growing number of newcomers enjoying open water swimming.

University of Limerick Sport Arena, – Alan Ward and team

The UL Sport Arena has for many years been committed to promoting water safety for many years. It’s 50-metre pool is the ideal home for Water Safety Ireland’s Annual National Stillwater Lifesaving Championships. Each year, staff go above and beyond to help host the event to the highest standards and they have previously played a key role in hosting the European Junior Lifesaving Championships for which they also provided accommodation for many of the national teams. UL Sport also works with Water Safety Ireland to train lifeguards on a weekly basis. We are also deeply grateful to UL Sport Arena for facilitating a range of projects over the years, including the 2021 update of Water Safety Ireland’s “Pool Safety Guidelines”.

Amber Thursday – Declan Keogh at Kildare Co Co

“Amber Thursday” is a collaborative initiative started by Declan to raise awareness of fire, road, and water safety ahead of the August Bank Holiday, which is one of the busiest weekends at beaches, lakes, and rivers. Fire, road, and water safety officers across Ireland worked together to promote the initiative and we are grateful to Declan and to all those who shared the water safety messaging nationwide.

Emergency Services Day – Seamus O’Neill

Seamus O’Neill has been an enthusiastic lead in the voluntary effort to recognise Ireland’s emergency and frontline emergency services. He has played a key role in leading the Frontline Emergency and Security Services Eire Forum. He played a key role in establishing Emergency Services Day on the first Saturday in September which includes parades, wreath-laying events, an art exhibition at Dublin Castle that included Lifeguards on duty and commemoration ceremonies that recognise emergency services, His efforts this year resulted in national tributes being paid to members of frontline services who died and who are currently sick because of Covid-19. Thank you Seamus for your selfless dedication to supporting our Emergency Services.

Swimming A Long Way Together – Vaness Dawes, Long Distance Swimmer

Vanessa is a visual artist and long distance swimmer who has organised water related art projects around the world, in this case a Cork Endurance Swim that had swimmers in the pool for thirty hours. Proceeds of the event went to Water Safety Ireland’s local initiatives in Cork and local clubs and swim groups supported a project that inspires and celebrates swimming and swimming communities. Thank you Vanessa for using your love of swimming to help others connect with our aquatic environments.

Wix and Wax – Danielle Kenneally and Chantell Keane

Danielle’s brother Jack was just 15 when he and his friend Shay Moloney lost their lives after getting into difficulty swimming in a disused quarry. She and Chantell decided to raise funds for a water safety awareness initiative.  They co-founded a home fragrance business “Wix and Wax” and donated a month’s profit from the sale of a specially created ‘Daisy snap-bar’ to WSI. The daisy has a strong significance to the Kenneally family as Jack kept a daisy on the back of his phone, and that’s something that Danielle holds dear. A water safety tips leaflet was included with every fragrance bar sold. Thank you Danielle and Chantell for helping to raise awareness and protect others from drowning. 

Galway Bay User’s Group – Kevin Gately & Michael Swan

Kevin and Michael were instrumental in setting up “The Galway Bay Users Group”, established as a partnership, linking statutory, commercial, educational, sporting and voluntary agencies involved in marine activity in the greater Galway Bay Area. The voluntary group facilitates the sharing of expertise, technological and scientific advancements, research and local knowledge in a collaborative manner to promote and advance efforts, particularly in marine safety and Search and Rescue/recovery operations for the benefit of the wider communities that use Galway Bay. Thanks to Kevin and Michael for helping to bring everyone together to improve safety for all.

Leon Quinlan Perpetual Award

CLONMONEY NATIONAL SCHOOL

CLIODHNA. MC CANNON

When young Leon Quinlan drowned, his mother Lynn contacted Water Safety Ireland about running an event to raise awareness about water safety. Funding from that event enabled WSI to recruit an Education Development Officer to visit primary schools and teach water safety awareness to pupils. Lynn’s support has enabled thousands of children to learn how to stay safe near water. We wish to thank Clonmoney National School  for delivering Water Safety Ireland’s Primary School Aquatics Programme – Primary Aquatics Water Safety (PAWS) to their pupils, co-ordinated by their teacher Ms Mc Cannon.  The children learned about hazards in the home, on the farm and near water in their local area. We are very grateful and congratulate Clonmoney National Schoo for a particularly strong effort to teach water safety to the children in their care.

Avery Greene Memorial Award

Avery Greene was just three-years-old when, in 2019, he tragically drowned while on holiday in Spain . Avery’s mother Amanda became an enthusiastic promoter of an education resource called Hold Hands that was developed by Water Safety Ireland and distributed to more than 4,000 Early Learning Centres nationwide. The resource has been particularly timely, coming at a time when swimming lessons were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It contains lots of games and fun activities designed to encourage this young age group to talk about water safety and it has been embraced by Educators around the country, including today’s recipient of the very first Award – “Rosnaree Kids Club”, a preschool and after school service for young children. The club has embraced the Hold Hands activities and encouraged the children to learn lots about water safety. For all children, it has been a disruptive time with swimming pools closed and without swimming lessons but thanks to places like Rosnaree Kids Club, very young children will have a sense of how to stay safe from drowning and for this we are very grateful.

Long Service Awards

Water Safety Ireland extends a sincere debt of gratitude to the following volunteers.

First NameLast NameCountyYears of Service
CaitrionaMcMahonClare10
AlisonDeaneClare10
JoshKellyBallybunion CRBI10
JohnMcShaneSligo10
EddieWalsheClare15
TaraSpry HayesClare15
PJO’GormanBallybunion CBRI15
FionaStauntonClare15
JeanMahonKildare20
SineadMillerDublin20
PaddyDrumgooleLouth20
JosephineO’RourkeMonaghan20
JohnMcGeeDonegal20
EvelynO’ReillyCavan20
PhilomenaLynchCavan20
LeoMahonKildare30
ElizabethTivnanKildare30
DeirdreWebsterKildare30
ClareMcGrathClare30
JohnStauntonClare30
Ann MarieMcGee CampbellDonegal30
JohnMorrellDonegal40
FrancesO’ReganLouth40

Volunteer of the Year Award

Andrew Lally

Since he was a child, Andrew Lally has had a love for all things aquatic, honing his skills by taking Water Safety Ireland classes in his early teens at Leisureland swimming pool in Galway. He developed a love of lifesaving and throughout his university studies, lifeguarded in Galway city and county. Andrew developed these skills further to become a very active WSI Instructor, responsible for running and examining summer water safety weeks, and training hundreds of lifeguards and lifesavers.

His busy work life as a dentist has never curtailed his enthusiastic involvement with the Galway WSI Committee which he currently chairs. Andrew also continues to train both pool and beach lifeguards and his dedication is further reflected in the fact that he continues to teach water safety every Sunday morning at his local pool.

In addition to his involvement in training lifeguards and teaching water safety, Andrew also gives up a huge amount of time to lifesaving sport. He is an active international referee and has travelled all over the world, voluntarily giving up personal holidays to support and manage national teams and at the same time carry out his duties as a referee. Andrew is a familiar face to all national competitors from nippers to masters and is a stalworth at pool and beach competitions. As a referee and manager to national teams, Andrew has travelled in a voluntarily capacity to many international events, utilising his personal holiday time to do so, and solving a range of challenging scenarios to ensure everything is run smoothly and safely.

Water Safety Ireland is proud to have dedicated people like Andrew Lally all over Ireland to train lifeguards, teach water safety, referee competitions, and support athletes. Andrew represents the highest levels of this volunteerism, and we are extremely lucky to have him on our team. Thank you Andrew, you are a very deserving recipient of Water Safety Ireland’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year.

 Sports Persons of the Year Award

Brendan McGrath, Co Clare

 

Brendan Mc Grath is a lifelong member of Water Safety Ireland, having started lifesaving as a trainee instructor over 50 years ago, teaching lifesaving and swimming in summer and winter. He is currently the head coach of the National Lifesaving team and has coached lifesaving sport to all national and international levels.

Since starting as National Coach in 2004, Brendan has coached Irish competitors to secure many medals at European and World level. Brendan has played a key role in the development of the National Squad structures that have enabled Irish teams to achieve these accolades.

In addition to coaching, Brendan has written Water Safety Ireland’s Lifesaving Sport Coaching Manuals, a framework that will facilitate the training and development of coaches all over Ireland.

Brendan also played a key role in the building of the Whitestrand Lifesaving Training Centre, which opened in 2015. He has also taken the lead in an ongoing project to build a similar training and rescue centre in Lahinch which is nearing completion. Brendan is very involved at a community level, dedicated to ensuring that local kids get the opportunity to train and use these facilities.

Brendan has consistently dedicated his time and energy to the ethos of Water Safety Ireland, sharing a lifetime of expertise and learning, for which athletes are extremely fortunate and grateful. A deserving recipient of Sports Person of The Year 2021.

Seamus O’Neill, Co Donegal

 

Seamus O Neill is the current Vice-Chairman of Water Safety Ireland, a Council member and volunteer with his local Water Safety Area Committee in Donegal.
In addition to his extensive contributions at an organisational level, Seamus is committed to the development of Lifesaving sport in Ireland. He played a major role in the establishment of the original Sports Commission and is a previous chair of the that Commission. His commitment to developing the sport is not limited to local or national level, having been involved in Irish contingents traveling the world to learn about the sport and bring back what they learnt to pass on to competitors and volunteers. He was part of the first Irish group to become international referees and has served as a member on the European Sports Commission, thus ensuring Ireland’s involvement in the development of the sport internationally.

No matter how bad the weather, Seamus can be found on a beach in a red referee jacket, running the beach flag arena or on the water’s edge refereeing the different events. He is a familiar face on the beach at all Irish lifesaving competitions and the events would not have been so successful over the years had Seamus not organised the courses on which the competitions ran. He also organises a rescue boat to travel to events nationwide. Seamus has been a driving force in Donegal Water Safety Area Committee upon which he has served in many different roles. Today he still plays a very active role in training and coaching Donegal lifesaving teams as well as being involved in the development of the new Donegal training centre in Creevy.
Seamus is also the “man in the van”, stretching back to when he brought some of the first Irish teams to international competitions in the 1990’s and organised for some of the first competition rescue boards and skis to come back to Ireland.  He also ensures that the national team equipment gets to European Competitions safely. Seamus recognised that having this personal equipment at competitions makes the world of difference for athletes when it comes to competing with the best in the world. Without this gear Irish teams would not be as competitive on the international stage. Seamus is a vital member of the traveling contingent, always offering to help transport people and equipment. On behalf of Water Safety Ireland and all of the competitors, we are proud of the commitment to lifesaving sport shown by Seamus, a deserving recipient of Sports Person of the Year.

Rescue Appreciation Awards

Declan Reid – Kildare (Posthumous) 

 

In February 2021, Declan was on the bank of the River Barrow. Declan’s son Arron was on his Kayak. Declan was on the bank with a rope tied to the kayak, suddenly the kayak overturned and without thinking he jumped in to rescue his son. Unfortunately, he was fully clothed in work attire that weighed him down. Declan kept hold of his son Arron and held him up in the water until other family members and members of the public were able to bring Arron to shore. On returning to the rescue Declan was already gone below water and lost to the river. 

Stephen Clarke – Dublin (Posthumous) 

 

In November 2012, at the River Liffey, Stephen was working as a doorman at a hotel along the quays when he heard cries for help coming from the boardwalk. He soon discovered that a woman was in difficulty in the water. He immediately entered the water. He managed to reach the woman but soon realised that there was no way out of the water on the side that he was on. He eventually made his way to the other side where his work colleagues had thrown out a safety device. He began to struggle in the current and heard a splash. A young man arrived up beside him to aid the rescue. The young homeless man had been sitting on O’Connell bridge as the incident unfolded. They eventually made it up to a ladder and they were successfully pulled out of the water to safety. 

SEIKO Just In Time Awards

Ruairi Brennan

Laois

In July of 2021, teenager Ruairi Brennan and a group of friends went to the River Nore at Castletown, Laois. While Ruairi was swimming, he noticed a woman enter the water and became aware that she was unable to swim. She surfaced and he went towards her. He tried to assist her and quickly realised that he needed to take her in tow. She began to struggle. He tried to calm her down and managed to take her in a carry to the bank. One of the woman’s friends had entered the water and approached them. The women that was almost secure at the bank jumped on her friend and both were now in difficulty in the water. Ruairi advised the friend to save herself. He managed to swim to safety. He took the other woman down the river to safety. 

Tina Kavanagh

Kilkenny

In the summer of 1985, Tina, then a teenager was swimming at Graiguenamanagh, Kilkenny when she noticed a young boy in distress in the water. He had got into difficulty when he received an accidental knock to his head by his friend while swimming. He subsequently swallowed water and began to panic. He kept going under the water. Tina swam to him and tilted his head back, while reassuring him at the same time and took him to safety. 

Gary Heelan

Cork

On the 6th of November 2020, Gary was out for a late walk on the north banks of Blackwater, Mallow, Co Cork. Gary noticed a young woman in the river on the opposite side of the bank. She was holding on to a tree and was in difficulty. The water was flowing very quickly due to recent heavy rain. Gary immediately ran across the bridge and down the opposite bank of the river. While running he contacted the emergency services. He then made his way to the casualty and was unable to see her from where he was standing. He tried to talk to her and assist her from the bank. She was unable to talk to him clearly as she had become very cold. Gary entered the water and against the strong flow managed to hold onto her. He was up to his chest in the cold fast flowing water and managed to keep her calm as he helped her to safety. 

Patrick Mungovan

 Clare 

In July 2021, at Quilty pier, Clare, a young girl had fallen into the water. Patrick became alerted to the situation and without hesitation jumped into the water and brought her back to safety. Patrick was aware of the area and was able to identify the slipway easily to bring the young girl back to safety. 

Zoe Lally

  Sligo 

In March of 2021, at Easkey pier in Sligo, a group of male youths were playing on the pier watching the large waves intermittently crash over the top of the break water and wash over the top of the pier. They were unaware of the building high seas, when suddenly a large wave broke over the breakwater and down onto the boys, washing them off the pier and into the sea. Emergency services were alerted by onlookers for immediate assistance. Zoe (an experienced surfer) ran onto the pier and located ringbuoys. With the aid of the ringbuoys she managed to pull two of the teenagers to safety from the pier. Zoe then entered the water and swam out to the third boy but could not return to the pier due to the high waves. She managed to bring him to safety further along the coast, and all teenagers were airlifted by helicopter to hospital. 

Daragh Flynn

Wicklow 

In July of 2021, at Clara Funpark, Laragh, Co. Wicklow, Daragh was walking across the bridge when he noticed a small child in the water. He immediately jumped into the water and scooped her up into his arms. He observed that she was on her back and her lips had turned blue. After removing her from the water he began to rub her back until such a time that she regained some colour. He was assisted by an off-duty paramedic, and they proceeded to take her to the first aid room where they kept her warm until emergency services arrived. 

Ger Daly

Galway 

In September 2019, at Salthill, Galway, Ger was swimming with a group when one of the members got into difficulty. He was alerted to the situation and was asked to assist the man. He stayed with the man and soon realised that the man was unwell. He proceeded to turn him onto his back and towed the unresponsive man safely to shore. Upon reaching the shore he pulled him onto the beach where the man regained consciousness. He waited with him until emergency services arrived. The man made a recovery. 

Philip Owens

Louth 

In July of 2021, at Whitestown, Co. Louth, Philip became alerted to the coastguard passing so he proceeded to cycle to the shore. He was alerted to a person in difficulty in the water. He immediately located a kayak and paddled out to the person in difficulty. He located the distressed person. He attempted to paddle back with the person holding on, but the person was unable to keep a hold of the kayak. He gripped onto the man’s lifejacket and stayed in position until the rescue boat arrived at the scene. He then assisted to get the man onto the rescue boat. 

Michael Carrig and Marguerite Carrig

Clare 

In July of 2005, on the Shannon estuary in Co. Clare, they observed a family on a 14ft boat returning home on the mouth of the Shannon. Michael made them aware of the change in conditions. Michael and Marguerite proceeded to follow the family and upon reaching them realised that they were in jeopardy of being overturned. With the assistance of Marguerite, Michael took the woman and children on board his boat. The man remained on the small boat, and they managed to escort him to his destination. 

Nikki Wan

Dublin 

In October of 2021, Ms Wan was walking her dogs along the Grand Canal, at Harold’s Cross bridge when she noticed a pair of men’s trainers submerged under the water. She immediately contacted emergency services for assistance. She proceeded to reach out towards the male and grabbed hold of him by his hood and managed to bring him to safety on the bank of the river. She then placed him into the recovery position after checking his pulse. She remained with him until emergency services arrived. He made a full recovery. 

Nikki would like to thank Justin from Dolphin’s Barn Fire Station for nominating her and everyone at Water Safety Ireland for her award. Nikki would also like to dedicate this award to her mum, and especially her step dad, Tony who is currently in hospital.

Tommy Moyna

 Monaghan

On the morning of the 25th of July 2021, Tommy Moyna was working on a farm when his attention was drawn to a loud scream from the vicinity of an adjoining lake. There was a man and a woman in difficulty in the lake. He immediately entered the water and swam towards the couple. The woman had submerged under the water. Tommy managed to dive under the water and pull her up above the water. The rescue became exceedingly difficult as the woman was being pulled under due to her clothing being waterlogged. The male was also holding onto Tommy. Tommy managed to tow the couple to safety. 

Mark Kavanagh

 Wexford 

In July of 2021, at Wexford bridge in the town, Mark Kavanagh became aware of a woman in distress in the water. The RNLI had been alerted and were on their way to the scene when they witnessed Mark lifting the woman out of the water and into his boat. He conveyed her to Wexford quay front where emergency services were waiting. Marks quick actions helped to prevent loss of life. 

Joseph McNulty, Kristin McNulty and Sean McNulty

 Donegal 

In September of 2021, at Bundoran beach, the McNulty family were enjoying an afternoon walk on the sea front promenade when they noticed three girls on a sandbank which was surrounded by water. They went down to the area and Joseph asked Kristin to grab a ringbuoy. At this point the three girls got into difficulty. Two of the girls were trying to swim to safety, the other girl was further out and seemed to be stranded up at chest level in the water. Both Joseph and Sean entered the water up to their waist and Kristin unravelled the rope, securely anchored the end. The ringbuoy was deployed and reached one of the girls and she was pulled to safety onto the rocks. The ringbuoy was deployed again, reaching the second girl and she was successfully brought to safety. Joseph & Kristin entered the water to get closer to the third girl. Sean also entered the water with the ringbuoy. He managed to reach her, and she was unresponsive. He managed to pull her to safety in a cross-chest hold. All three girls were successfully brought to safety where emergency services took over.