Retired navy heroes closer to bravery medals

Two retired Naval Service personnel may have made ground in a battle to receive medals awarded for their heroic action onboard a ship in 1962.
Retired navy heroes closer to bravery medals

Defence Minister Simon Coveney has asked the Defence Forces chief of staff Vice Admiral Mark Mellett to investigate the actions of the men who helped save the LÉ Cliona after a depth charge exploded prematurely.

The ship was conducting an anti-submarine exercise off Cork Harbour in May 1962 when a depth charge was fired. The explosion resulted in a fireball which engulfed the boiler room.

Stoker Bill Mynes fought the blaze which threatened to completely disable the ship after it had lost steering power.

He suffered burns to his body and face. Lt Patrick O’Mahony had also been mentioned for his heroic role in the incident.

A campaign was recently set up by the Irish Seamen’s Relatives’ Association (ISRA) to get the two men awarded the distinguished service medal (DSM).

Mr Coveney has asked Vice Admiral Mellett to report to him on the matter.

“I think we are now on the right track. The general consensus was that this needed to be reviewed to redress a wrong. Bravo Zulu to Mr Coveney for having the political courage to do this,” ISRA chairman Peter Mulvany said.

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