AN IRISH Coast Guard volunteer who died during a rescue mission has received a posthumous gold medal award for bravery.
Volunteer Caitríona Lucas tragically lost her life on a rescue mission off Kilkee, Co Clare in September last year.
Ms Lucas, a 41-year-old mother of two living in Liscannor in Co Clare, was searching for a missing man with two other volunteers when their rigid inflatable boat overturned near cliffs at Kilkee on 12 September 2016.
A rescue operation was launched to assist them, but Ms Lucas died shortly after she was airlifted from the water by the Shannon rescue helicopter.
According to RTÉ, the gold medal is the highest award made by the Irish State to an individual.
Ms Lucas's family accepted the award on her behalf at a ceremony at Farmleigh House in Dublin.
Presenting the award, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl spoke of Ms Lucas's courage and selfless action.
He said it was a reminder of how members of the emergency services put their lives on the line every day.
There were 15 awards presented today as part of the National Bravery Awards.
They included gardaí who had intervened to save people from drowning after their cars had entered the water, a woman who intervened to save her mother from a viscous attack, and a man who noticed and quickly extinguished a fire at a petrol pump.