President honours Kilkenny soldier for saving the life of motorcyclist injured in road accident

Kilkenny soldier honoured by president Michael D Higgins

President Micheal D Higgins, Corporal Thomas Carew, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM

On Wednesday, September 11, the annual Defence Forces Values Awards Ceremony took place at Áras an Úachtarán.

President Michael D. Higgins, accompanied by his wife Sabine, presented the awards to the Defence Forces personnel who have best displayed Selflessness, Loyalty, Integrity, Moral Courage, Physical Courage and Respect, in the presence of their families. Recommended by their peers, these personnel were chosen as those who best exemplify the values and standards of Óglaigh na hÉireann.

A Kilkenny soldier was among those honoured.

The Award for Selflessness went to Corporal Thomas Carew, 3 Infantry Battalion, James Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny, who was nominated by a former superior.  Tom is from Ferrybank.

Pte Carew demonstrated commendable selflessness  through his actions to save the life of a civilian motorcyclist involved in a fatal road traffic accident. The impact of the collision propelled the motorcyclist into an estuary in high-tide.

The Kilkenny soldier's actions were the subject of correspondence from An Garda Siochana Assistant Commissioner AJ Nolan who commended Pte Carew for his actions on the  night

The Area Operations manager for HSE commended Pte Carew stating “the bravery you demonstrate was outstanding and your actions were fearless. You are a credit to the Defence Forces and I wish on behalf of the ambulance service, to thank you for your act of kindness and selflessness."

Thomas demonstrated considerable selflessness in risking his own life to save the life of a stranger

It is noted that Pte Carew was briefed that morning on Defence Forces ethos and values and later that day, lived and demonstrated those same values


Thomas is accompanied here today by his parents Thomas and Josephine, his younger brothers Robert and Paul and his girlfriend Aifric.

Thomas joined the Defence Forces in 2012 and completed his recruit and 2-3 star training in Collins Barracks Cork. After training, Thomas was stationed in Stephens Barracks, Kilkenny where he remains to this day. Some of the highlights of his short military career include winning numerous Parsons Cup medals (for hurling) with the 3rd Infantry Battalion, serving overseas with the 53rd Infantry Group UNIFIL. He has recently completed a Diploma in Military Medical Care having studied in University College Dublin between 2018 - 2019, qualifying him as a Combat Medical Technician. He is looking forward to transferring into the Central Medical Unit( CMU) and serving Overseas as a Medic.


Speaking at the Awards presentation, Úachtaran na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins said: “This evening is an opportunity for me to personally honour and acknowledge the integral role that Óglaigh na hÉireann occupies in Irish Society. It is something that I have always been aware of. Today, we are recognising in a special way the noble actions of seven serving and retired members of our Defence Forces. We are recognising their conduct as embodying in a special way the essential Defence Forces qualities of moral courage, respect, integrity, physical courage, selflessness and loyalty. I salute each and every one of you, and wish to thank you and your families for the sacrifices you have made and for your unwavering dedication to your country”


Speaking to the recipients and their families, Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, said: "For almost a century, the men and women of Óglaigh na hÉireann have been the bedrock of Irish sovereignty, upholding the constitution while defending and protecting our country, our people and our interests at home and abroad. It is our values that bind us together, defining our culture, inspiring us to action. All this is exemplified by our champions present here today. You are the embodiment of these values. Óglaigh na hÉireann stands ready, in changing and challenging times, as the custodians of Ireland's defence, unified in purpose and guided by our shared values".

The winners of the Defence Forces Values Awards 2018 are

Respect - Able Mech Ryan O'Driscoll, (Naval Service Diving Section) from Rush Co Dublin

Loyalty – Sergeant PJ McCabe, (Military Police Corps) from Newbridge Co Kildare

Integrity - Gunner (retd) David Stack (1 BAR) from Cobh, Co Cork

Selflessness – Corporal Thomas Carew (3rd Infantry Battalion) from Ferrybank


Moral Courage - Corporal Cathriona Lacey (6th Infantry Battalion) from  Athlone, Co Westmeath

Physical Courage - Corporal David McCormack (1st Infantry Battalion) from Galway

Overall Champion - Sergeant Major John Murray, (CIS Corps) from Newbridge, Co Kildare

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