herald

Monday 21 August 2017

Wartime ambulance man still saving lives nearly 75 years later

Noel Brady wears his medal
Noel Brady wears his medal
One of his tokens

A VOLUNTEER who treated victims of the German bombing of Dublin in 1941 is still serving in the St John Ambulance service.

Noel Brady (94) bandaged casualties among the destroyed homes in North Strand after a Nazi bomb killed 28 people and injured 90 people almost 74 years ago.

"I'm a happy man. I will carry on with St John Ambulance as long as I live," said Mr Brady.

He received a medal marking 75 years of unbroken service with the first aid organisation at a weekend function in Dublin.

He spoke to the Herald yesterday before donning his staff officer uniform to attend another meeting of the organisation.

He now acts in an advisory role. He was good-humoured in admitting he can no longer kneel to give first aid, declaring: "I can get down but I can't get up."

He recalled dark times when Adolf Hitler plunged Europe into war in 1939.

He joined the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) service in Dublin at the outbreak of the war and transferred to the St John Ambulance.

On the night of May 31, 1941, he was standing with his father at the door of their family home in St Ignatius Road in Drumcondra when they heard the sound of a Nazi Luftwaffe bomber flying overhead.

"There were two flashes in the sky and my father threw me onto the floor and lay on top of me. There was a very loud explosion," he said.

Moments later, they could see the reflections of fires over the roofs in the direction of North Strand.

Noel put on his St John Ambulance uniform and cycled to the scene of the carnage.

"The first person I helped was a man with a big gash in his forehead.

"There was a lot of blood. I was able to work right through the night until 2pm next day," he said.

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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