| 0.2°C Dublin

Damien to be honoured for river rescue

MUSICIAN Damien Dempsey is to receive a water safety award after he saved a man from drowning.

The Dubliner is among 35 individuals who risked their lives to save 22 others.

Dempsey (inset) was in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, last June 22 when he saw two men in difficulty in the River Slaney.

The singer-songwriter grabbed a sheet from his van before wading into the water and throwing it to one of the men in order to pull him in.

The other managed to swim to shore unaided.

Environment Minister Alan Kelly, who will present the SEIKO Just in Time Rescue Awards today for Irish Water Safety (IWS), said: "An average of 135 drownings occur in Ireland every year, and though that's 135 too many, the figure would be even higher but for the efforts of these individuals who saved others from drowning and the ongoing work of volunteers teaching swimming."

Ninety-one people drowned in Ireland last year.