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Noel reunited with boy (6) he saved off Schull pier in 1978

May 29th, 2024 3:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

Noel reunited with boy (6) he saved off Schull pier in 1978 Image
Noel rescued the six-year-old boy after he fell into the water in Schull (above) in 1978.

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A MAN who saved the life of a six-year-old boy on the pier in Schull in 1978 was reunited with him after a call to RTÉ’s Liveline this week.

Noel, who didn’t use his second name, rang in to Joe Duffy to see if he could locate Lawrence Clancy, a young child who had fallen off the pier after attempting to board a fishing trawler.

‘I grabbed him by the hair and I held on with one hand to the side of the trawler,’ Noel told Joe on Tuesday afternoon. Noel said he balanced on the tyre which was being used as a fender on the side of the boat. ‘Luckily, I got him up – he was a small little lad.’

Noel, now 78, explained that he had visited Schull every year for 20 years, and would have been in his late 40s or early 50s at the time.

He said he had always wondered what happened the little boy he had saved that day, and put a call-out to the audience if anyone knew him to get in contact. Before the end of the show, Lawrence made contact and said he would be in touch with Noel, but assured him he was fine and well.

During the conversation, Noel also revealed that he had made news in West Cork himself in 1973 when, on Saturday September 22nd, he and three friends had to ditch their small aircraft in Roaringwater Bay on a journey from Luton back to Ireland.

As a member of the Munster Aero Club the four men were coming home via the Channel Islands where they were blown off course. They eventually saw the light of the Fastnet and decided to ditch the plane, which came down in calm waters at Foilnamuck, Ballydehob, but hit the surface at 88 miles/hour, at 8.45pm at night, a landing which left their pilot Eric unconscious.

The other three passengers managed to exit the plane before it sank, and rescued Eric and swam about a half-mile back to shore with him. A McCarthy man sitting on a hill spotted them and cycled into Ballydehob to raise the alarm.

Because of being a regular visitor to Schull, Noel said he knew the gardaí when they arrived, and the local doctor. All four passengers made a full recovery, he said. Two days later the plane was retrieved from the sea.

‘I think the Rolls Royce engine ended up in Bantry garda station,’ said Noel.

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