FORMER Taoiseach Enda Kenny has revealed how a Killarney man’s heroism saved his life after he almost choked to death on a piece of steak.
Mr Kenny was staying in Killarney, where he has a holiday home, and was dining out following a day spent climbing Carrantuohill.
He was eating a steak in The Laurels restaurant when he began to choke and needed to be given the Heimlich Manoeuvre.
The former Fine Gael leader told The Irish Star that restaurant owner Con O’Leary’s quick thinking saved his life. He said: “People thought I was playacting, standing up turning blue, and by coincidence, Con was going from one end of the premises to the other and said: ‘don’t worry I have him’.
“He did the Heimlich manoeuvre on me, which meant that I lived to tell the tale.”
Mr O’Leary, 79, said: “We had been talking away for two or three minutes and I walked away from him but then everything went silent and I looked around and the two of them were standing up.
“I knew straight away he was choking and in distress so I gave him the Heimlich manoeuvre and out popped a bit of steak. I was just lucky I got it up”.
He revealed that he had learned the lifesaving technique after he had a similar experience.
Above: Con O’Leary, The Laurels Pub & Restaurant, Killarney. Pic: Don MacMonagle