Friday 9 December 2016

Gardaí on the front line of the refugee crisis

Published 05/10/2015 | 02:30

Superintendent Joseph Gannon of Pearse Street Garda Station and Garda Damien McCarthy pack donated items in preparation for a visit to Kos to assist refugees. Photo: Mark Condren
Superintendent Joseph Gannon of Pearse Street Garda Station and Garda Damien McCarthy pack donated items in preparation for a visit to Kos to assist refugees. Photo: Mark Condren

The heartbreaking reality of the refugee crisis was cemented for two gardaí as they learnt of another dead child washing up on a beach.

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Damien McCarthy (37) and Ray Wims (39) flew to the crisis-hit Greek island of Kos on Saturday night to help the hundreds of Syrian refugees landing on the island on a daily basis.

But within hours of their arrival, they learnt of the body of a young baby who had washed up on a beach.

"It really is distressing," said Gda McCarty. "We are just here to do all we can. We have been handing out fruit, water and basic supplies since we arrived."

The pair, who are the first gardaí to travel to the region, will spend a week on the island.

They brought baby clothes and other essential items with them to distribute.

Read dispatches from Kos by Nicola Anderson with photographer Mark Condren in this week's Irish Independent.

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