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Danielle Kenneally and Chantell Keane from Wix and Wax present a cheque to Water Safety Ireland's Bernard Cahill

Ennis businesswomen among winners of Water Safety Ireland awards

THE fundraising and water safety awareness efforts of two Ennis business women have seen them recognised with a national award. Danielle Kenneally and Chantell Keane were the recipients of the Water Safety Ireland Community and Social Responsibility award at their national awards ceremony earlier this year.

Danielle’s brother Jack was just 15 when he and his friend Shay Moloney lost their lives after getting into difficulty swimming in a disused quarry in 2018.

Danielle and her best friend Chantell co-founded home fragrance business Wix and Wax in 2020, and this year they decided to donate a month’s profits from a specially created ‘Daisy snap-bar’ to WSI in memory of Jack.

The daisy has a strong significance to the Kenneally family as Jack kept a daisy on the back of his phone, and that’s something that Danielle holds dear. A water safety tips leaflet was included with every fragrance bar sold. A total of €2,500 was raised from the sale of the bar by the pair.

A spokesperson for WSI said, “Thank you Danielle and Chantell for helping to raise awareness and protect others from drowning”. This isn’t the only award Danielle and Chantell scooped this year, having been named Best New Business award at the Clare Business Excellence & Resilience Awards 2021.

There were a number of Clare winners at the Water Safety Ireland national awards. The Clare Champion was presented with the Provincial Press Award for its work in highlighting water safety awareness.

A Seiko Just in Time Award was presented to hero lifeguard Patrick Mungovan for his quick action in saving a young girl who had fallen into the water at Quilty Pier in July of this year.

Also receiving a Just in Time Award were Michael Carrig and Marguerite Carrig.

In July of 2005, on the Shannon estuary in Co. Clare, they observed a family on a 14ft boat returning home on the mouth of the Shannon. Michael made them aware of the change in conditions. Michael and Marguerite proceeded to follow the family and upon reaching them realised that they were in jeopardy of being overturned. With the assistance of Marguerite, Michael took the woman and children on board his boat. The man remained on the small boat, and they managed to escort him to his destination.

Long service awards were presented to Caitriona McMahon, Alison Deane, Eddie Walshe, Tara Spry Hayes, Fiona Staunton, Clare McGrath and John Staunton.

Sports Person of the Year award was given to Brendan McGrath, a lifelong member of Water Safety Ireland. He started lifesaving as a trainee instructor over 50 years ago, teaching lifesaving and swimming in summer and winter. He is currently the head coach of the National Lifesaving team and has coached lifesaving sport to all national and international levels.

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