Three silver and 14 bronze medals, plus 25 certificates were presented to people from all walks of life, including members of the emergency services who put their lives on the line. However, the fact that no gold medals were presented by the State at the National Bravery Awards in Farmleigh House, prompts the question, why not? What acts of bravery must people engage in before they are adjudged to have won the ultimate accolade under the scheme set up in 1947 to reward deeds of bravery?
Take, for example, the courage of a young Waterford girl who saved her cousin from a fire after a petrol bomb attack, or the heroism of a Cork teenager who prevented his father from being gored to death by a raging bull, not to mention the garda who rescued a woman after she jumped in to the River Liffey in Dublin — surely these brave heroes deserved to be honoured with gold medals. Would it be churlish to ask if the dearth of gold is down to Government cutbacks?
Whatever the explanation, does it mean the 10-year-old boy, whose “great bravery” was praised by gardaí in saving his 11-year-old sister from being abducted by a man outside their home in rural Co Laois, will not get gold? Watch this space.