A MONKSTOWN man has been honoured for his 50 years of voluntary work in lifesaving.
Brendan Donohue was presented with the Ireland Medal and Parchment of the Lifesaving Foundation at an event in the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Chamber.
On winning the award, Brendan told The Gazette: “I was in absolute shock! My first reaction was, what did I do to deserve this?”
The Ireland Medal award was presented to Brendan by An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Tom Murphy (FF) in recognition of his more than 50 years of voluntary work in lifesaving.
Brendan’s work in the local community is centred on Monkstown Lifesaving Club at dlr Leisure Services Monkstown, where children, teenagers and adults can learn water safety and rescue skills.
His various roles as a lifeguard, teacher, trainer and as a lifesaving administrator has also extended to an international level where the Life Saving Foundation also works in aiding communities in developing countries.
The Ireland Medal is awarded to people from the Irish diaspora who have made a significant contribution to lifesaving and the prevention of drowning in different areas.
Brendan said: “My particular area has been grassroots [work], teaching people to life save, teaching people water safety – the whole prevention end of things.
“That’s where my input has been, in developing community involvement and teaching kids, making them aware of the risks and dangers so that they wouldn’t actually put themselves at risk initially.”
During his speech, Cllr Murphy also complimented the emergency services for their hard work and diligence in dealing with drowning incidents and was delighted to welcome representatives of these emergency services to the award ceremony.
To mark the occasion, Brendan was also was presented with a copy of To The Rescue – a book which records 125 years of lifesaving in Ireland.