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  • Northside East

Men receive bravery awards after fending off intruder

Thursday, 31st October, 2019 8:00am
Men receive bravery awards after fending off intruder

Pictured at the awards ceremony were (from l-r): Michael Hempenstall, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD and Aonghus O’Briain. PHOTO: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

Men receive bravery awards after fending off intruder

Pictured at the awards ceremony were (from l-r): Michael Hempenstall, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD and Aonghus O’Briain. PHOTO: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE

TWO Northside men who fended off an intruder, who was subsequently arrested and prosecuted, were honoured at the National Bravery Awards.

On January 8, 2016 Michael Hempenstall (73) was returning to his family home on Clonliffe Avenue, Ballybough, with shopping. 

As he approached his front door, he noticed that it was slightly open. 

When Mr Hempenstall entered the hall, a man ran down the stairs, grabbed him and forcefully pulled him into the sitting room where he pushed him onto the couch. 

The intruder shouted at Mr Hempenstall that there were other people in the house in order to intimidate and frighten him. 

While still being assaulted and in an effort to escape, Mr Hempenstall ran to a window which he managed to push open and called out for help. 

A neighbour, Aonghus O’Briain, heard his cries and responded. 

As he entered the house through the front door, he saw the intruder assaulting Mr Hempenstall and without hesitation, confronted the intruder. 

During the interaction, the intruder broke the glass panel in the back door and cut his hand. 

Mr O’Briain overpowered the intruder and held him in a headlock while he tried to break free.  

Another neighbour who also responded to the cry for help assisted Mr O’Briain in restraining the attacker. 

A further neighbour who heard the commotion entered the house, and Mr Hempenstall called out to her to call the gardaí, which she did. 

Mr Hempemstall was also instrumental in containing the intruder who was subsequently arrested and is currently serving his sentence in Mountjoy Prison.

The National Bravery Awards were set up in 1947 to recognise those who risked their lives to save others.

The awards are administered by Comhairle Na Míre Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which is chaired by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD. 

The ceremony saw 20 people receive Bravery awards, including one posthumous honour.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, which was held recently at Farmleigh House,  the Ceann Comhairle said: “The National Bravery Awards give us an opportunity to celebrate the courage of our emergency services and people who risk their own safety to protect their fellow citizens. 

“It is important to recognise the sacrifices made by people whose selflessness can serve to remind us of our duty of care to one another.” 

The Ceann Comhairle added: “It is an honour to present these 20 Bravery Awards, including the posthumous award, and I thank all recipients for their courage.”

The Deeds of Bravery Council includes the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork, the Garda Commissioner, the President of the Association of City & County Councils and the Chair of the Irish Red Cross.

The Council may award Gold, Silver or Bronze medals as well as Certificates of Bravery.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here