‘We are glad our district has played its part’ - Ireland's role in dramatic Thailand cave rescue

Ireland played a significant role in the Thailand cave rescue mission making three major contributions from supplying a diver, equipment, and the pump.

The water pumps used to get the millions of gallons of water out of the cave were designed and manufactured at Sulzer Pumps in Wexford, formerly known as ABS Pumps. The specialised pumps were made by Paul O’Dowd and Noel Dempsey at Sulzer.

Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Dempsey said it was a proud day for a highly respected company in Wexford, which has been a major source of employment in the town for several decades.

In Co Clare, caving hero Jim Warny travelled to Thailand to assist in the rescue mission.

The Ennis-based Belgian caving expert arrived in Shannon airport yesterday to a hero’s welcome.

Mr Warny’s former wife, Kasia Kowalska, praised his efforts.

“It is wonderful what Jim did and it is wonderful that all of the boys’ lives were saved,” she said.

Ms Kowalska and Mr Warny have a son Ciaran together and he always trusted that his father’s safety was certain.

“Ciaran was quite confident that his dad would be okay,” said Ms Kowalska.

“He trusts his dad and he was saying ‘everything is going to be fine’. He is very proud of what his dad has done.”

“There is always the fear that something might go wrong.

“Jim was risking his life and you are always worried so we are relieved that everything worked out fine. As long as he is fine.”


There was also cause for celebration in Co Limerick, after the 12 boys and their coach were safety rescued from Tham Luang Nang Non cave.

It is understood that a man from Cappamore, donated specialist diving equipment used in the rescue.

Sources told the Limerick Leader that scuba-tank regulator equipment played a vital role in the mission.

The owner of the equipment wished to remain anonymous.

Cathaoirleach of the municipal district of Cappamore, Eddie Ryan, praised the local man involved.

“We all praise the person from our locality who it’s merged has been so gracious to gift resources to the rescuers,” he said.

“It’s a massive story all over the world with a wonderful outcome. Of course, we would like to also remember the diver who lost his life during the rescue who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

“But we are glad our district of Cappamore has played its part in the rescue of the boys and their coach.”

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