A young woman who went missing from her home was rescued by two hero Gardai who searched fields and woods for her for hours.
Garda Gary Lynch and Garda Brian Delaney responded to a report of a young woman, with intellectual disabilities, who had gone missing from her home; it is believed she followed the family's pet dog when he wandered away from the area.
The two gardai searched the area and roads around the house but found no sign of the woman. They subsequently searched fields near the house, going as far as a wooded area near the River Slaney.
Garda Lynch explained that they received the call at around 4.30 p.m. and, having searched the local area to no avail, had called for assistance from the Garda Air Support Unit.
At around 6 p.m., having had no luck in their search, the two gardai were about to turn back when they heard faint barking in the distance and followed the sound. They found the young woman, stuck in a ditch near a pond, having suffered some minor cuts.
Due to the woman's injuries, Garda Brian Delaney carried her from the area back to her home, treking 60 yards up a slope, through briars and undergrowth, and back to her house and relieved family.
Garda Lynch said: 'The young woman was distraught and, while she was calling for help, we wouldn't have heard her. We were about to turn back when, luckily, we heard the dog barking. She was well off the beaten track and under the cover of the woods.'
Garda Lynch, originally from Offaly, has been stationed in Wexford for the past 13 years, while Garda Delaney, from Kilkenny, is new to the area, having graduated from Templemore in recent years.
Praising the two gardai, Superintendent Jim Doyle described their actions as 'community policing at its very best'.
He said the incident had been a high risk call-out and the two men had realised the seriousness of the matter, searching difficult terrain.
'I want to congratulate the two gardai for their efforts. It's what the public expects but, at the same time, this could have ended in tragedy and thank God, thanks to the actions of Garda Lynch and Delaney, it didn't.'
He added that the Air Support Unit had come from Dublin, at short notice, and proceeded to assist in directing the gardai on the ground out of the woods and back to a safer path.