TRIBUTE has been paid by a High Court judge to a young garda who attempted to save the life of his "colleague and best friend" who died shortly after their patrol car had been rammed.
Garda Bernard McLoughlin told Ms Justice Mary Irvine that after finding a pulse, he held his colleague Garda Gary McLoughlin's head in a recovery position in their wrecked car until emergency services arrived.
Michael Carson SC, who appeared with barrister Fiona Crawford for Garda Bernard McLoughlin, told a Garda Compensation hearing yesterday that tragically Gda Gary McLoughlin died hours after the crash.
Gda McLoughlin, who, since the crash on December 13, 2009, has taken educational leave to study in Australia, was awarded a total of €45,000 compensation for injuries.
Judge Irvine said the two men, who shared the same surname, were more than colleagues. They were best friends who had shared a flat and had trained together.
Garda McLoughlin, of James Street, Perth, Australia, told the court that he and Gary had been searching for a speeding red car when it crashed into them at Lisfannon, Burt, Co Donegal.
He and Gary had been taken to hospital in the same ambulance and Gary had died in the early hours of the morning.
At Letterkenny Circuit Court in July 2011, Martin McDermott, of Castlegrove, Raphoe, Co Donegal, was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, with the final year suspended, for the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin.
McDermott (26) later absconded in March 15, 2012, from Loughan Prison, Co Cavan. He was arrested the following day in Derry and extradited back to the Republic.