Garda Chief Collette Quinn with award winners Ruby Hurst and Odhran O Neill at the inaugural Garda National Youth Awards
Two brave and heroic youths who saved the life of their friend were recognised for their courage at the National Garda Youth awards.
Odhran O'Neill from Ballyshannon and Ruby Hurst from Rossnowlagh were presented with their award on April 17, in Portlaoise.
Garda Grainne Doherty warmly congratulated the two youths this week.
She said: “They showed immense bravery and remained very level-headed and they saved the life of one of their friends," she said.
“They were very deserving winners of the award.”
Recognition was also paid to the Irish Water Safety organisation in Ballyshannon where the two youths voluntarily undertook the CPR course.
Ruby said: “We were at school, in a PE class and the student, he collapsed and started into cardiac arrest. Odhran immediately went for the defib.”
The two youths then began to perform CPR on their friend and awaited the arrival of the paramedics.
Odhran said: “Since we were eleven we have been training with Irish Water Safety in the Ballyshannon pool and the training kicked-in and the adrenaline kept us calm."
He paid tribute to his PE teacher, Michael Doherty, from Ardara, whose very presence kept both youths calm during the course of events and cleared the hall for them.
“He let us take over the situation. If he hadn't been there I don't think we would have been as calm.”
Ruby said that both youths worked well together as a team.
“We both took turns doing compressions because it is very physically demanding.”
Odhran commended the early intervention of the paramedics who were at the scene within around five minutes.
Ruby praised the Irish Water Safety Organisation which supports and facilitates people with the skills to save peoples' lives.
“It is not just a skill for the day - it is a skill for life,” she said.
Both youths work as lifeguards on beaches during the summer.
Garda Doherty said that without the training by the Ballyshannon organisation lives would have been lost.