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More than a billion people worldwide viewed the miraculous rescue of the 33 trapped miners in Chile and US President Barak Obama seized the opportunity to remind the world of the enormous part US technology played in the rescue operation, citing of NASA and various American companies.
However, unknown to the world outside Ireland was the role played by Joe Purcell’s company, Mincon Ltd, in Shannon. It supplied the drill that broke through the 2,000 metres of rock to reach the trapped miners on August 5.
The miners attached a note to the Irish-made drill that revealed to the world they were still alive when hope was fading after the rockfall had entombed them deep into the mine.
Our politicians and state agencies allowed the Irish role to pass almost unnoticed when the Mincon drill presented a rare opportunity to present Irish engineering and industrial skills to a global audience.
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