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Dublin: 1 °C Wednesday 23 January, 2019
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Girl (11) who saved her mother's life following attack by suckler cow honoured at Bravery Awards

42 people received awards from Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett at today’s ceremony at Farmleigh House in Dublin.

13/11/2015 Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, TD presen Garda Carroll Walsh, who rescued a woman who had fallen into the River Liffey in August 2012 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

SHOULD YOUR FAITH in human nature ever waver, be assured, there are some very, very brave Irish people out there.

42 of them were honoured at a ceremony at Farmleigh House today at the latest edition of the National Bravery Awards.

The awards are an annual occurrence and range from certificates of bravery, through bronze, silver and gold medals (the last of which are only awarded on very rare occasions).

Those honoured include Kerri Brosnan (who was 11 when she saved her mother’s life following an attack by a suckler cow), Róisín Halligan (who saved her young cousins from a deadly petrol bomb attack and sustained severe burns in the process), Garda Michael Twomey (who sustained serious injuries when confronting joyriders in Cork city), and John O’Donoghue (who was 15 when he saved his father who was gored by a bull on their family farm). Their stories are detailed below.

13/11/2015 Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, TD presen Katie McCabe, Luke Foley and Jenni Cunningham, who rescued an epileptic woman from the train tracks at Bayside DART Station, in advance of an approaching train, in March 2015 Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

Other stories involving saving people from burning buildings, burning cars, and those who had fallen into rivers, were ten a penny at today’s ceremony. One group of teenagers even saved a woman who had fallen onto a DART line following an epileptic fit.

Dáil Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett, who presented the awards, said that it was “truly an honour” to give the recipients such recognition.

“Their courage and selflessness make them examples to us all and I believe that it is vital that such acts are recognised publicly,” he said.

These men, women and children of Ireland went to the aid of others, at great risk to their own safety and we salute them for their outstanding deeds.

The Bravery Awards have been running since 1947. The awarding council is chaired by the Ceann Comhairle, and also features the Garda Commissioner, the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork, and the chairman of the Irish Red Cross.

11-year-old girl saves her mother’s life on family farm

13/11/2015 Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, TD presen Kerri Brosnan with her mother Mary at today's awards Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

In September 2013 11-year-old Kerri’s mother was attacked by a suckler cow that rammed her against the wall of a calving pen on their family farm in Co Cork.

Kerri banged on the gate to try to distract the cow, before throwing it a bucket of nuts, which distracted the animal. This gave her mother a chance to escape. Having done so she collapsed in pain. She had suffered broken ribs, a tear to her liver and a severely bruised lung.

Using her mother’s phone, Kerri called for help, first to her father who was some distance away, next to a neighbour (who was a nurse) who came to her mother’s aid.  Kerri kept her younger siblings calm in the meantime by having one of them sit with her mother to keep her awake, while she sent the other to meet the neighbour to show her where to go.

Her mother subsequently made a full recovery. Kerri received a bronze medal and certificate of bravery today in recognition of her actions.

Waterford girl saves cousins’ lives following petrol bomb attack

13/11/2015 Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, TD presen Róisín Halligan Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

Late one October evening in 2014 Róisín was sitting watching television with her one-year-old cousin in a house at Ardmore Park, Waterford, when a petrol bomb was thrown through the front window and into the room.

Róisín instinctively moved to protect her cousin, shielding her from the flames. Another cousin, aged just three months, was also present in the house.

The blaze was extinguished by the cousins’ grandmother. However, in acting out of sheer bravery, Róisín herself sustained serious burns to her face, body, arms and legs which led to her spending several weeks in Cork University Hospital.

Róisín was awarded a bronze medal and a certificate of bravery at today’s event.

Cork Garda blocks road on motorbike from drunken joyriders

Garda Michael Twomey found himself caught in a deadly situation in April 2014 when a pair of joyriders wrought a trail of destruction across Cork city.

The pair initially stole a van before committing a burglary at a local hotel in which a large quantity of alcohol was taken.

They proceeded to joyride across the city and were involved in five separate collisions.

Garda Twomey correctly anticipated the route of travel of the van at this stage, and set up a one-man traffic warning point at a junction in the joyriders’ path.

The pair rammed his motorcycle deliberately which saw Garda Twomey sustain serious back, neck and leg injuries. The two offenders were later arrested and convicted.

For his actions on that day, Garda Twomey was today awarded a silver medal and certificate of bravery.

Teenager saves father from bull by grabbing its nose ring

13/11/2015 Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, TD presen John O'Donoghue (centre), with his father Joe (right) and Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett at today's awards Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ie

While moving cattle on the family farm in June 2013, 15-year-old John O’Donoghue’s father Joe was attacked and gored by a bull.

John ran to his father’s aid and grabbed the bull’s nose ring in an attempt to divert it. He succeeded in doing so long enough for his father to escape.

Their ordeal wasn’t over. As they ran for safety the bull hit Joe once more. This time John grappled the animal about its neck, once more earning his father a window of escape.

The two made it to their jeep, which the bull continued to attack until they left the field. Joe was badly injured, but has made a full recovery.

John received a silver medal and certificate of bravery at today’s ceremony.

A more complete list of all 42 people honoured today can be found here.

Read: Court hears about heroic actions of 10-year-old who saved his sister from abduction

Read: ‘Kate is my daughter. Kate was born still and silent. It is the loudest heartbreak.’

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