One of the longest serving Fire Station officers in Ireland and the first Limerick recipient of the Deeds of Bravery Council Award will retire from duty tomorrow, later today.
Kilmallock Station Officer, Michael Moloney began 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 1968, 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.
Cllr Jerome Scanlan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council is congratulating Michael on his retirement, describing him as a “committed and skilled fire officer who has provided an invaluable service to the wider Kilmallock Area during the past 42 years.”
Michael Ryan, Chief Fire Officer, Limerick Fire and Rescue Service added: “I want to thank Michael for his years of service and wish himself and his family well for the future. Michael’s contribution to the local Fire Service is indicative of the experience, energy and enthusiasm that Limerick’s Fire Service staff bring to the job.”
Mr Moloney, who is married with five children and has 12 grandchildren, started his career at 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 he acknowledged the significant changes that the Fire Service has undergone during the 42-year period.
“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,” he said.
In 1990, Michael Moloney, received the first and only bronze medal and citation for bravery. Mr. Moloney 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, John Fogarty, died in the incident but a second man, Michael Wade, made a full recovery.
The incident occurred on the morning of the 15, August 1987.