“No one has ever survived falling from the Cliffs of Moher apart from me, so I do consider myself a very lucky guy. One day after school when I was 13, myself, my brother and one of our friends cycled over to the cliffs, where we wanted to go down to the beach on one of those goat paths. It took us about an hour to get half way, but then, as my brother explained, I slipped and fell about fifteen meters straight onto the rocks. I have no memory whatsoever of that day or the following two weeks. My brother got down to me and our friend ran all the way back up the cliff and out onto the road to stop a bus, and luckily there was a doctor from Australia on it who came straight to help. They brought down whatever they could to keep me warm, but it took another six hours to rescue me because of the fog, and the helicopter nor the boat could get close enough to the shore. When they realised it wouldn’t work, they sent someone to the three pubs in Doolin to get all the men they could find. They needed all the help possible to set up a tripod system to lift me back to the top. There were 40-50 people working to rescue me. I fell at about 6pm and they rescued me only after midnight. I broke everything on my left side; my legs, my knees, my ribs and even my jaw and nose. Luckily my brain had no injuries. I was all wired up for two months, they kept me in a coma for two weeks, and I even had to learn how to walk again. It went into the news, and Tv3 actually reconstructed the whole story and made a short documentary about it. I was a well known kid in Doolin, you know? The helicopter pilot is retired now, but he decided to write a book, called Nine Lives, about his search and rescue experiences. He dedicated a whole chapter to me, as it was one of the biggest operations at that time. Since my case the Doolin rescue centre grew from a 20 by 20 foot shed and a boat, to one of best equipped rescue centres in the world. Without all these people I wouldn’t be here today, and I am so grateful for the work they do. Not just the people that day, but the coast guards all over Ireland who work so hard as volunteers and save so many lives.”

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