The friend of a boy who found himself in difficulties locally in the sea at the Point, Westport 43 years ago was honoured at the National Bravery Awards on Friday last with a silver medal and a certificate of bravery.
In the summer of 1976, a fourteen-year-old boy found himself in difficulties in the sea at the Point, Westport. Three friends of his were on a pier looking on in horror.
Gary Kennedy who was also a friend of the boy was cycling nearby and saw him in the water. After unsuccessfully trying to untangle the ropes of a nearby lifebuoy, Gary dived into the water, made his way over to the boy and brought him back to the pier where he made a full recovery.
The Bravery awards were set up in 1947 to recognise those who risked their lives to save others and are administered by Comhairle Na Míre Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which is chaired by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD. Today’s ceremony saw 20 people receive Bravery awards, including one posthumous honour.
The Ceann Comhairle said: “The National Bravery Awards give us an opportunity to celebrate the courage of our emergency services and people who risk their own safety to protect their fellow citizens. It is important to recognise the sacrifices made by people whose selflessness can serve to remind us of our duty of care to one another. It is an honour to present these 20 Bravery Awards today, including the posthumous award, and I thank all recipients for their courage.”