One of the longest serving fire station officers in Ireland and the first Limerick recipient of the Deeds of Bravery Council Award retired on Tuesday. Kilmallock Station Officer Michael Moloney commenced working with Limerick Fire and Rescue Service in 1971 and has held his current position since 1981.

The Bruff native, who has lived in Kilmallock since 1986, became the first and only recipient of a bronze medal and citation for bravery during a rescue attempt at the Golden Vale Mill in Kilmallock in 1987.

Mr. Moloney is married with five children and has 12 grandchildren. He started his career in Kilmallock in 1971 before being appointed as a fleet driver in 1974. He was appointed Station Officer in 1981 and has held the position ever since.

Speaking ahead of his retirement, Michael acknowledged the significant changes that the Fire Service has undergone during the 42-year period.

He explained: “I have witnessed significant investment in the local Fire Service, none greater than the completion of a new €1.6 million Fire Station at Kilmallock in late 2010. The provision of one of the best equipped and modern fire stations in the entire mid-west region has greatly helped the fire fighting capability of the local service along with improving the welfare, health and safety of fire officers. The service fleet of vehicles has also benefited from investment which has been a key factor in establishing Limerick Fire and Rescue Service as a modern, efficient fire fighting organisation.

“I want to acknowledge the contribution of the relevant County Managers down through the years along with the five Chief Fire Officers, Senior Assistant Chiefs and the many staff I have been privileged to work with,” Michael concluded.

In 1990 Michael Moloney, Station Officer, received the first and only bronze medal and citation for bravery. He received the award in recognition of his actions in entering a grain silo at the Golden Vale Mill in Kilmallock to rescue two men who had been overcome by fumes as they cleaned a silo.  One man died in the incident but a second man, Michael Wade, made a full recovery. The incident occurred on the morning of 15th August 1987.