President Michael D Higgins has today shared a message to the two Galway paddleboarders and their rescuers, saying that he is "absolutely delighted that there was a happy outcome".
The country breathed a collective sigh of relief on Thursday when it was revealed that Ellen Glynn (17) and Sarah Feeney (23) had been found alive after 15 gruelling hours in the water off the coast of Galway. A very happy ending to an otherwise terrifying ordeal, the cousins have been recovering in hospital since their rescue.
Found clinging to a lobster pot by local fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan, hundreds of others volunteered their services in the search for the pair. Explaining how they managed to survive the night in the water, the pair tied their paddleboards to a buoy and took turns sleeping as they were so exhausted.
Joining countless others in expressing his relief that both cousins were found safe and sound, President Higgins today shared a message to both Ellen and Sarah and their rescuers Patrick and Oliver.
"I am just one among many who were absolutely delighted that there was a happy outcome to the two young women being swept out to sea.
Their families are people who have given a lot to their communities, and John Glynn has given an enormous amount of support to sport, and to soccer in particular.
I am lost in admiration for the Oliver family, who represent generations of wisdom in relation to the sea.
When opportunity allows, I look forward to paying tribute to Patrick and Morgan Oliver."
A minute's applause took place at a Galway United FC match yesterday evening to honour the volunteers who helped in the search for the cousins.