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Council set to honour Whitepark Bay heroes

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Causeway Coast & Glens Council has agreed to recognise the bravery of four teenage hurlers who spotted two children with their father struggling in the water and rushed to help them.

The incident happened just off White Park Bay beach on Thursday, June 25.

The 16-year-old hurlers from Ruairí Óg CLG GAA Club, one of Ireland’s most recognisable clubs were walking along White park Bay beach in the area when they came across the two children and their father who were in trouble.

Michael Quinn, Josh Schnell, Shane McKenna and Niall Óg McGuigan are being deservedly hailed for their heroic actions with a spokesperson from the club explaining how the situation unfolded to Belfast Live.
“It took them about a minute to bring him safely ashore. A man nearby was desperately trying to reach the young girl and Josh and Michael went to his and the little girl’s assistance.

“The beach was not busy but the boys had noticed a strong undercurrent when they had been swimming earlier.

“It took approximately two minutes to bring the father and daughter ashore. Once safely back on land the young hurlers were thanked by the father of the two children for saving their lives.

“The young men had felt the strong currents and rapid shelfing of the beach during the rescue and they knew that every second counted.

“The children had been pulled out of their depth in the blink of an eye and there could have been a tragedy that afternoon, if it were not for the brave actions of Michael, Josh, Shane and Niall.

“The management of the minor team from Ruairí Óg presented the four boys with a hurley, a slíotar and a hurling grip as a small token of the appreciation of the club and the pride that they have in their young players.”

Juvenile Chairperson of Ruairí Óg, Adrian McNaughton, explained his immense pride in the incredible bravery shown by the four boys.

He added: “We live in a beautiful coastal community where we all look out for one another. The GAA has been in an important and life-saving partnership with the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea for the past few years.

“Both organisations have been working closely together to raise awareness of water safety and give our players and supporters the knowledge and the tools to save lives.

“These four young men represent the best of our community and we are so proud of them for their bravery.

“We all have a role to play in keeping everyone safe this summer on the water and our local lifeboat station, Red Bay RNLI, may have some new volunteers joining them soon.”

Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor Oliver McMullan said “What prompted me to bring this motion was that all the young boys are under 18. Their actions show maturity well above their age and in the present climate, it was a really courageous act. Their actions on the day have brought great pride not only to their families but also to the entire Glens community.”

The motion read: “That this council recognizes the bravery of the four young teenagers Michael Quinn, Josh Schnell, Shane McKenna and Niall O’g McGuigan from the Ruairi Og hurling club in Cushendall,when they rescued a father and his two young children when they got into difficulties while swimming at White Park Bay.”

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