FIVE gardai have been awarded Scott medals for bravery. They were presented with their medals by Justice Minister Alan Shatter at the Garda training college in Templemore.
Bronze medals were handed to Mullingar gardai Vincent Reynolds, Brian Freyne and Oliver Walsh for risking their lives to rescue a two-year-old girl from a house blaze in the town on August 28, 2011.
The two parents and four children, ranging in age from 15 to two, were in the house when the fire started. As the family escaped, they did not realise that the two-year-old girl was still inside.
Responding to a 999 call, seven gardai arrived at the house including the current whistleblower, Sgt Maurice McCabe. The fire was put out but the house was still filled with thick black smoke and extreme heat.
Gardai Reynolds, Alan Kenny, Eric Naughton and Brian Craven attempted a rescue but were beaten back by the smoke.
Another two gardai, Brian Freyne and Oliver Walsh, arrived with a powerful torch and found the young girl in an upstairs bedroom. Garda Freyne carried the child to safety and she was taken to hospital and made a full recovery.
The three medal winners were also taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation but were later discharged.
They were awarded the medals for exceptional courage and bravery involving personal risk to life in the execution of their duty.
Meanwhile, bronze Scott medals were also awarded to Gardai Paul Carney and Thomas Ryan, from Leixlip station, Co Kildare, who tackled raiders at a jewellery shop in Celbridge, Co Kildare, on August 6, 2010.
Two men, armed with a realistic imitation firearm and a crowbar, stole €1,000. They were spotted by the two gardai, who left their patrol car and gave chase on foot.
Garda Carney chased one of the thugs into St Patrick's Park in Celbridge and called on him to surrender. The raider pointed the firearm at Garda Carney, who tackled him to the ground and disarmed him.
The second raider then appeared and grabbed the gun. He demanded the release of his accomplice but Garda Carney refused.
Garda Ryan chased the second man and arrested him.
Both raiders were convicted of robbery and possession of an imitation gun and the stolen cash was recovered.