Honorary obe for mayo native

MAYO native Joe Mulligan, the British Red Cross head of first aid, has been awarded an honorary Order of the British Empire (OBE). The award, for services to first aid and community resilience, was announced as part of the 2015 Honorary British Awards for Foreign Nationals.

Joe, who is originally from Callow, is a qualified nurse, teacher and former ambulance crew member. He has worked for the British Red Cross for over 20 years and has championed a more approachable and dynamic style of first aid education.

Over the past 20 years the British Red Cross has expanded its community-based first aid groups and materials for schools and begun using YouTube bloggers, Facebook and twitter, and now reaches well over 500,000 people with first aid learning every year.

In 2014, Mulligan reached a nationwide audience when he appeared on Chris Evans’ BBC Radio 2 show for a popular mini-series of first aid tips. He is also a regular favourite at the annual Baby Show in London, teaching parents essential skills to care for their little ones in the event of an accident

On hearing he had been awarded the honorary OBE, Joe said: “There are several people who deserve a piece of this award; those who have journeyed with me over the past 20 years, my family for their support, my colleagues for their vision and dedication, finally all those who have without fanfare advocated for the importance of first aid education. 

I really hope first aid becomes second nature to people. You never know when you might be able to save a life. It is an extraordinary skill to have.”

This is not the first time that Mulligan’s path has crossed with that of the Royal family. On several occasions he has provided personal refresher sessions to HRH the Prince of Wales, a keen first aider.

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: “I am delighted to hear that Joe’s incredible contribution to first aid learning has been recognised. First aid saves lives, and for many years Joe has been at the forefront of helping more people around the country get the skills they need to really make a difference when it counts. The whole of the British Red Cross is extremely proud of everything he has achieved.”