Near tragedy struck in Askeaton on Monday January 27th. Patrick Collins, a native of Rathkeale, suffered a serious medical condition and was found unconscious in the changing room area of Askeaton Pool and Leisure Centre. Six staff members, who are all employed on a full time basis at the centre and are fully trained lifeguards, sprang into action and effectively carried out all the correct procedures they are trained to do, including calling for medical assistance and an ambulance. The six lifeguards, Declan Nash, Chloe Markham, Adam Mulvihill, Brian Hogan, Siobhan Scanlan and Clare Wilmott, proceeded to massage the patient’s chest, applied mouth to mouth resuscitation and when it appeared they were likely to lose the patient they used a defibrillator located at the centre. Medical assistance arrived including an ambulance and Patrick Collins was removed to the local hurling field and from there airlifted to University Hospital, Dooradoyle. Today Limerick County Council, who are 51% shareholders of the Pool and Leisure Centre, decided, on the proposal of Councillor Kevin Sheahan who is Chairman of the Leisure Centre Management Committee, to avail of the opportunity to hold a civic reception at Rathkeale Council offices to pay tribute to this team of young people who had effectively saved Patrick Collins’s life. Present on the occasion was Patrick Collins along with his mother, father and sister. Parents of the lifeguards were also present and it turned out to be a very joyous occasion. Before presenting the individual certificates to the lifeguards Councillor Kevin Sheahan referred to their training and their ability to apply their training successfully when the occasion presented itself and went on to say it was great for Limerick County Council, the Leisure Centre and for all the customers of the Leisure Centre and especially for the lifeguards and their families. Patrick Collins’s father Batty Collins expressed his gratitude on behalf of his family to everybody concerned. Askeaton Swimming Club, represented by Jimmy O’Donoghue and Siobhan Tighe, Coral Leisure, also spoke. Councillor Kevin Sheahan concluded by saying that members of the public who are members of the centre would be greatly reassured by the professionalism of the management and staff of Askeaton Pool and Leisure Centre which should enhance the attractiveness of the facility.