Two bodies found after rain

 

Two bodies have been found following severe rainfall that affected the east of the country yesterday, causing widespread flooding.

Search teams looking for missing Garda Ciaran Jones (25) found a body close to the location where he was swept into the Liffey.

The body was taken from the river and removed to Naas General Hospital where formal identification and a postmortem will take place later today. The search for Mr Jones has now officially been stood down.

Mr Jones, stationed at Stepaside, south Dublin, was off duty but had been helping to keep people safe from dangerous floods at Ballysmuttan bridge in Co Wicklow at 7pm yesterday when he was swept into the Liffey.

There had been fears the bridge was in danger of collapsing as people tried to cross. No-one else was injured.

Supt Eamon Keogh, of Blessington Garda Station, said Gda Jones - a member of the force for about four years - was pulled into the river while trying to come to the aid of a motorist.

“He was seen for a few moments by friends and then he wasn’t seen again,” he said. Gda Jones’s brother and sister were at the scene last night.

The officer, who lived nearby at Manor Kilbride, is understood to have been helping others at risk of being stranded.

The Irish Coast Guard, the Garda helicopter and mountain and river rescue teams joined Garda colleagues in the search for several hours.

The incident happened after huge swathes of the east of the country were hit by almost a month’s rain in the last 24 hours.

Elsewhere, the body of a woman was found in the flooded basement of a house in Parnell Road in Harold's Cross, Dublin. Emergency services were called to the house by neighbours at 11pm last night. A preliminary search of the basement was carried out by the Garda Water Unit at about 1am but failed to recover the body.

The body of the 35-year-old woman was found early this morning when water was pumped from the basement by Dublin Fire Brigade.

Additional reporting: PA