A now 73 year old man, originally from Gortnahoe, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and currently living in Urlingford on the Tipperary / Kilkenny border has at last been honoured some 33 years later, following the saving of a human life. Mr Hugh Long was honoured just last week, for his act of selfless bravery.
Then occupied as a truck driver and unable to swim, Mr Long waded into the River Liffey and showing no regard for his own safety; dragged a woman identified as being in difficulty, to safety.
Mr Long recalls a woman signalling to him, on a day in February 1983, that there was a body in the river Liffey. Leaving the cab of his vehicle, he quickly climbed over the river wall in the Ellis Quay area of Dublin, before climbing down a safety ladder and wading out to where a female was floating, face down in the water.
Mr Long, who recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Patricia (Pat), had fully forgotten the events of that day until he was contacted by TG4, regarding the making of a documentary. Only then did Irish Water Safety become aware of his selfless act and last week, Mr Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government was invited to present Mr Long with his long overdue award.