PICS: Meet the ordinary Irish people who have been awarded for their selfless actions

A motorcycle garda who put his life at risk to save others received a national bravery award for his selfless actions yesterday.
PICS: Meet the ordinary Irish people who have been awarded for their selfless actions

Garda Michael Twomey, anticipating a potentially fatal accident, stopped traffic at a junction of the main Cork/Mallow road in April last year.

However, he was seriously injured when struck by a stolen van used to steal a large quantity of alcohol from the Vienna Woods Hotel in Glanmire, Co Cork.

After stealing the alcohol the driver and his accomplice went on a drunken escapade in the van, colliding with a number of vehicles.

Garda Michael Twomey, from Cork , with his five-year-old son Ryan at the National Bravery Awards. Garda Twomey was awarded a medal for intercepting a gang of armed raiders. Picture: Julien Behal

Garda Michael Twomey, from Cork , with his five-year-old son Ryan at the National Bravery Awards. Garda Twomey was awarded a medal for intercepting a gang of armed raiders. Picture: Julien Behal

Garda Twomey, who was familiar with the area, anticipated the route the culprits would take and used his motorcycle to set up a traffic warning point at the major junction between Cork and Mallow.

He was intentionally rammed by the van and thrown about 20m from his motorcycle, ending up on the side of the road.

Garda Twomey received serious back, neck, and leg injuries — mostly muscle damage. He has made a full recovery and resumed his motorcycle duties about six months ago.

Roisin Halligan, receiver of bronze medal for bravery the ceremony in Farmleigh House . Picture: RollingNews.ie

Roisin Halligan, receiver of bronze medal for bravery the ceremony in Farmleigh House . Picture: RollingNews.ie

The two offenders were later arrested and convicted.

The garda received a silver medal from Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett at a ceremony in Farmleigh House in Dublin.

He became emotional when he recalled the many cards and letters he received thanking him for what he had done.

Paul Lynham Loame with his girlfriend, Lorraine Cosgrave. Paul evacuated residents from a burning building. Picture: Julien Behal

Paul Lynham Loame with his girlfriend, Lorraine Cosgrave. Paul evacuated residents from a burning building. Picture: Julien Behal

“People travelling along the road at the time contacted me afterwards — they wanted to thank me because they knew what could have happened,” he said.

Teenager Kerri Brosnan from Leamlara, Co Cork, was awarded a bronze medal for the life-saving action she took when her mother was attacked by a suckler cow on the family farm.

Bronze bravery medal recipient, 14-year-old Kerri Brosnan from Midleton, Cork, with her mother, Mary. Picture: Colin Keegan

Bronze bravery medal recipient, 14-year-old Kerri Brosnan from Midleton, Cork, with her mother, Mary. Picture: Colin Keegan

Kerri was 11 years old in September 2013 when she heard her mother, Mary, screeching for help and saw that the cow had rammed her against a wall in the calving pen.

The cow, who had just calved, had managed to get out of the vertical head-gate. She immediately turned around and knocked Mary to the ground.

Kerri, who was in the feeding passage, started banging at the gate with a pike before deciding to throw a bucket of nuts into the pen.

The animal was distracted by the noise but when Mary stood up the cow came at her again.

John O’Donoghue, from Cork, pictured with his silver bravery medal and his father, Joe, whom he saved from being gored by a bull. Picture: Colin Keegan

John O’Donoghue, from Cork, pictured with his silver bravery medal and his father, Joe, whom he saved from being gored by a bull. Picture: Colin Keegan

“She had her head down so I just put my two hands up on the poll of her head and when she went to puck me I used that to carry myself over her back and I landed outside the vertical head-gate where she was locked up,” she recalled.

Mary was able to step out of the pen before collapsing on the ground.

Kerri called her father who was about an hour away. She then called a friend and a neighbour of the family who was able to come straight away.

From left, Katie McCabe, Luke Foley, and Jenni Cunningham, receivers of a bronze medal each for bravery. Picture: RollingNews.ie

From left, Katie McCabe, Luke Foley, and Jenni Cunningham, receivers of a bronze medal each for bravery. Picture: RollingNews.ie

Mary received multiple injuries including a severely bruised lung, a tear to her liver and broken ribs but has made a full recovery.

“I got pregnant eight weeks after all of that so I am a tough lady,” said Mary, a mother of four. Her youngest, a boy, was born 14 months ago.

Awards were made to 42 recipients chosen by Comhairle na Mire Gaile — the Deeds of Bravery Council, chaired by the Ceann Comhairle.

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