Body found after search for Garda swept away in Liffey
TEAMS searching for a missing Garda swept away by floods in the Wicklow mountains have found a body close to where he was last seen.
Ciaran Jones (25) stationed at Stepaside, south Dublin, had been helping people on the upper stretches of the River Liffey.
Garda Jones, who was off-duty, was attempting to keep people safe from dangerous floods at Ballysmuttan bridge, near Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow at 7pm yesterday when he was swept away.
The body was found at Ballyward Bridge, near Manor Kilbride shortly before 9am today.
A Garda sub aqua team was attempting to retrieve the body this morning.
Superintendent Eamon Keogh, of Blessington Garda Station, said Garda 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.
There had been fears the bridge across the River Liffey was in danger of collapsing as people tried to cross.
No-one else was injured.
The officer, who lived near the spot where he went missing, is understood to have got out of his car at the bridge to help others at risk of being stranded.
He was accompanied by his brother and a friend and it is understood that up to 60 people witnessed him being swept away by flood water.
His brother and sister were at the scene today. Garda Jones’s parents are understood to be returning home from abroad where they had been on holiday.
Ciaran Jones was a prominent GAA player with Kilbride and was also part of Mick O'Dwyer's Wicklow senior football squad over the past four years.
Although Kilbride is not a senior team, Ciaran's outstanding play as a forward had impressed the county selectors and he was considered one of the top scorers in the county.
Searches commenced before 8pm last night and continued to 1am today.
The Irish Coast Guard, the Garda helicopter and mountain and river rescue teams joined Garda colleagues and local people in the search which resumed again at first light.