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National Bravery Awards for two Louth based gardai

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Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl presents National Bravery Awards to Garda Keenan McGavisk and Garda Róisín O’Donnel.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl presents National Bravery Awards to Garda Keenan McGavisk and Garda Róisín O’Donnel.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl presents National Bravery Awards to Garda Keenan McGavisk and Garda Róisín O’Donnel.

An incredible act of bravery in the fast flowing River Dee saw two Louth based gardai honoured at the National Bravery Awards last week.

The actions of Garda Keenan McGavisk and Garda Róisín O’Donnell saw them each awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery at the National Bravery Awards.

It was the events of March 30th 2020 which had led to the serving gardai being awarded for their bravery.

At around 1.30am, they were among members of An Garda Síochána who had responded to reports of a man in difficulty in the River Dee at Cappocksgreen, Ardee. Garda Róisín O’Donnell, Garda Keenan McGavisk and Garda Conor Tuite arrived to the scene and climbed down an embankment and searched along the river in torchlight. They observed the man in the water who was being swept downstream in the strong current and was in significant distress.

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Garda Tuite immediately ran in search of a lifebuoy while requesting the assistance of the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services. Garda O’Donnell and Garda McGavisk navigated difficult terrain and both entered the water without hesitation or concern for their own safety. Both waded into fast-flowing water in the river in order to reach the man and encountered extremely difficult conditions underfoot, coupled with the strong fast flow of the river.

Garda O’Donnell momentarily lost her footing and lost her flashlight to the water in the process, thereby making the endeavour that much more difficult. Both gardaí had to link arms to counter the fast flow of the river and reach the man. They managed to drag him to the riverbed on the far side of the river. They were assisted at that point by additional Garda personnel at the scene and later by the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services.

Praising the incredible actions of those who were awarded, the Ceann Comhairle  Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD. said: “The deeds we honour are exceptional acts of bravery. They mark the moments where people saved the lives of others through their actions, risking their own lives doing so. What these awards celebrate is the noblest impulse within a human being, to risk their life in order to save another. We honour people who leaped into stormy seas, who braved swollen rivers, climbed down cliffs, assisted at road traffic collisions and performed other remarkable deeds. Through their actions there are people alive today, who would undoubtedly have died.”


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