Certificates of bravery awarded
Members of An Garda Síochána were strongly represented in the National Bravery awards presented at Farmleigh House, Dublin, this afternoon.
The honours, from Comhairle na Mire Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – were made in recognition of heroic acts such as saving people from rivers, rescuing a man from a burning building, and protecting a woman from physical violence.
Among the recipients were Sligo-based gardaí Trevor Keating and James Conneely and member of the public Rory O’Connor, who rescued a man from the Garavogue River in September 2009.
The man was swiftly swept downstream by a strong current Garda Keating entered the river while Garda Conneely along with Mr O’Connor commandeered a small boat which they used to intercept the man. Mr O’Connor applied CPR while the Gardai brought the boat back to shore in difficult conditions.
For their efforts the three men were awarded bronze medals and certificates of bravery.
In relation to a separate incident, Pearse Ward and Frank McManamon were also honoured with bronze medals and certificates of bravery for preventing an attack on a woman at the Central Bank Plaza in the early hours of the morning of June 28th, 2009.
Off-duty paramedic Martin Whitmore was awarded a silver medal and a certificate of bravery for pulling a drowning woman from the River Barrow. Sean Sharkey and garda Tommy Fay were awarded certificates of bravery for rescuing a man from Lough Ramor in Co Cavan, while Garda Tom McKenna was awarded a silver medal and a certificate of bravery for his part in the same rescue.
In other honours Eric Grundy received a silver medal and a certificate of bravery and his friend Gareth Nathan a certificate of bravery for their rescue of a woman from the Grand Canal Dock in Dublin last December. Gardaí John Hennessy and Shaun Brosnan were awarded silver medals and certificates of bravery, and Garda Mary Lonergan a certificate of bravery for their efforts in saving a man from a burning house near Clonmel.
The awards were presented by Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil Seán Barrett who said the awards celebrate and recognise as well as giving thanks “to members of our communities who, through their selfless acts of courage have helped other people”.
“In turn, society as a whole benefits and it is right that, as a society, we show our gratitude to them. These honours are richly deserved and are a fitting tribute. Their families, friends and neighbours and all of us should be justifiably proud of their achievements and their extraordinary feats of bravery,” he said.