Five people were also honoured with the Bronze Medal of Bravery

A total of 21 people have been honoured by the State for their bravery for “risking their own lives to aid others in peril.”

The honours are awarded by Comhairle na Mire Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which was founded in 1947 to recognise exceptional acts of courage.

All the recipients were handed Certificates of Bravery while five were also honoured with the Bronze Medal of Bravery.

Garda Thomas O’Griofa, Garda David Hannon, Garda Patrick Gallagher pictured with Garda Stephen Fahy. Garda Sergeant Gerard Mullaney could not attend today’s ceremony, 19-10-2018. Image: Maxwells Photography

As the ceremony was getting underway this afternoon, 15-year-old Clodagh Hayes from Glanmire in Cork said she can’t believe she was getting an award.

Last year, she saw a young boy who was in difficulty in the water at her rowing club and jumped in to save him.

“It is unbelievable,” she said. “We are just normal people and we are getting called heroes for just doing things that, I think, are things that a person should do.”

“I wouldn’t say they are heroic acts; they are just things that people should be doing everyday just to help others.”

Krista Valteris & Keisha Moloney who saved a six-year-old boy from drowning, 19-10-2018. Image: Maxwells Photography

Meanwhile, Paul McInerney from Celbridge in County Kildare and his friend Eugene Duff from Kimmage in Dublin won Bronze Medals after swimming to the aid of their elderly friend who had suffered a heart attack while swimming in County Wexford.

Mr McInerny said his own personal safety never entered his mind.

“A friend of ours George was in trouble,” he said. “He was struggling swimming, so we just helped him and we were all in a bit of trouble but the adrenaline kicks in and you don’t really think about it.”

Twin brothers Peter & Rory O’Connor from Cork - they both receive Certificates of Bravery, 19-10-2018. Image: Maxwells Photography

Meanwhile, student Andrew Johnston was honoured for diving into a Donegal river to save a drowning woman who was trapped in a car.

Mr Johnston was forced to dive underwater four times to free Loreta McKinlay after her car left the road near Lifford in July 2017.

Six Gardaí were also commended for their bravery at the ceremony at Farmleigh House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park this afternoon.

Bronze Medals and Certificates of Bravery

  • Ms. Clodagh Hayes – Cork.
  • Mr. Andrew Johnston – Armagh.
  • Mr. Paul McInerney – Kildare.
  • Mr. Eugene Duff – Dublin.
  • Mr. Martin Cullinane – Cork.

Certificates of Bravery

  • Mr. Peter O’Connor – Cork.
  • Mr. Rory O’Connor – Cork.
  • Garda Thomas O’Griofa – Sligo.
  • Garda David Hannon – Sligo.
  • Garda Patrick Gallagher – Sligo.
  • Sgt. Gerard Mullaney – Sligo.
  • Ms. Michelle Cremin – Cork.
  • Mr. Drew Kearney – Cork.
  • Garda Stephen Fahy – Sligo.
  • Mr. Adam McGoldrick – Sligo.
  • Ms. Krista Valteris – Carlow.
  • Ms. Keisha Moloney – Carlow.
  • Garda Maria Freeley – Galway.
  • Reserve Garda Alan Burke – Galway.
  • Mr. Kelvin Kearns – Waterford.
  • Mr. Paul Downes – Dublin.
  • Mr. Kelvin Kearns – Waterford.
  • Mr. Paul Downes – Dublin.

With reporting from Shane Beatty at Farmleigh House ...