Irish heroes recognised at National Bravery Awards

Tragic 13-year-old hero Ricky Osagie amongst those recognised for outstanding bravery

Awards in recognition of “outstanding acts of bravery” have been presented to members of the public at Farmleigh in Dublin this afternoon.

The bravery of the 29 award-winners has been credited with saving dozens of lives in Ireland over the past year.

The honours are awarded by Comhairle na Mire Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which was established in 1947 to provide a suitable avenue for the State to recognise of deeds of bravery.

Among those recognised was Davitt Walsh, the man who saved a baby in the Buncrana pier drowning tragedy and John Connors - who rescued his brother and another child from the Carrickmines fire.

The Council can award medals in either Gold, Silver or Bronze categories – however the only gold medal was awarded posthumously to 13-year-old Ricky Osagie.

Ricky drowned while helping to save the lives of two girls who got into difficulty swimming in a lake in Blanchardstown in 2014.

The family of 13-year-old Ricky Osagie who accepted a Gold Medal for Outstanding Bravery on his behalf. Image: Maxwell Photography 

His friend Lee Weir was also awarded a certificate of bravery for his actions on the day.

The awards council is chaired by Dáil Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó’ Fearghaíl.

Mr Ó’ Fearghaíl said the, “great sacrifices” made by award recipients “deserve to be celebrated and recognised and today we thank each of them for their heroism."

“We are awed by the selflessness and courage of our award winners and in recognising their feats today, we hope to convey our appreciation for their acts," he said.

"In particular, we remember the great act of courage by Ricky Osagie, who tragically died trying to save two girls who had got into difficulty while swimming. His family accepted a Gold Medal for Bravery in recognition of Ricky’s courage, which is the highest award possible.”

National Bravery Awards Medal Winners:

  • Ricky Osagie (Posthumous Gold Medal) for attempting to rescue two drowning girls (Dublin).
  • John Connors (Silver Medal) for rescuing family members from fire on halting site (Dublin).
  • Davitt Walsh (Silver Medal) for rescuing a baby from a sinking car in Buncrana (Donegal).
  • Garda Matthew Murphy (Bronze Medal) and Garda John Prunty (Bronze Medal) for entering a burning house to apprehend an armed man (Letterkenny).
  • Alibanga Musifer (Bronze Medal) for tackling an armed robber in Glasnevin Post Office (Dublin).
  • John Purcell (Bronze Medal) for saving two women from an armed man holding them inside a house in Phibsborough (Dublin).

A number of recipients were also awarded certificates at the ceremony