Mary Elmes. Cork woman. Hero.
A Cork woman who risked her life to save Jewish children from Nazi gas chambers has become the first Irish person to be honoured as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Among those saved by Mary Elmes, who died in 2002, was Ronald Friend, now professor emeritus of psychology at Stony Brook, New York. At the time he was a two-year-old child whose father would not survive but whose five-year-old brother Michael was also rescued by Ms Elmes.
Last night Mr Friend described the award as “a long overdue recognition of Mary Elmes’ courageous and selfless actions in rescuing me and many other children when convoys were regularly departing to the death camps”.
Coming after Neil Prendeville’s obscene rant yesterday, it’s nice to remember that there are good people out there.