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courageous act

Rescuer of toddler who climbed out window onto busy road gets bravery award

One Garda received awards for two separate acts of bravery.

A TOTAL OF 21 awards were given out today to people who carried out outstanding acts of bravery.

The National Bravery Awards, which were held at in Farmleigh House, were presented by Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett.

Stephen Deery was one of the men awarded with a Certificate of Bravery for rescuing a young boy from a busy road in 2013.

Climbed out window

The small toddler climbed out of the window of his home without his mother’s knowledge and made his way to a main road in Carlow town. 

As one car missed the little boy, Stephen Deery, aged 21 at the time and working in a nearby service station, saw the boy and at great personal risk to himself went onto the road. 

He managed to scoop the little child out of the path of a second car, which had to slam on the brakes to avoid the child. 

After rescuing the boy, Deery sat the toddler on a wall and helped locate the boy’s family.

Comhairle na Mire Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council  – said that “there is no doubt but for the swift actions of Stephen Deery that the incident may have resulted in loss of life. Deery displayed considerable courage in the actions he took”.

There were many other award winners today, such as Garda Mark Irwin who was awarded two Bronze Medals and two Certificates of Bravery, both for separate acts of bravery.

In 2012, Garda Irwin and Reserve Garda Stephen Corrigan were in pursuit of a car being driven erratically in Westport. The driver was driving very dangerously, so Garda Irwin made a decision to stop pursuing the vehicle for the safety of the general public.

unnamed (5) Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett and Garda Mark Irwin who was awarded with two a Bronze Medals and Certificates of Bravery and Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey Lensmen Photographic Agency. Lensmen Photographic Agency.

Crashed into a lake 

Soon afterwards, the vehicle veered off the road into Knappaghbeg Lake.

Garda Irwin and Reserve Garda Corrigan arrived at the scene and entered the lake as the car was on its roof, submerged in the water.

The driver was trapped in the vehicle, but the two gardaí managed to lift the driver’s head from under the water to an air pocket and keep him conscious until the fire brigade and ambulance arrived, about twenty minutes later.

The driver was subsequently freed from the car and transferred to Mayo General Hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.

The Council commended both men,stating that they displayed considerable courage in entering the lake in freezing temperatures. ”Without their quick thinking and brave actions on the night it is possible that the driver of the car could have perished,” they said.

Second act of bravery 

In a separate incident in 2012, Garda John Boyle and Garda Mark Irwin were on patrol in the Westport Quay area.

They observed a car hanging at the edge of a pier, and as they approached they noticed a male in distress. They two gardaí went to the edge of the pier and saw a young man in the sea.

It appeared that he had attempted to exit the car once it had crashed but had fallen 15 feet into the sea. Both gardaí decided to make their way down to him by climbing down a fixed ladder, entering the sea.

They then dragged the man from the sea and carefully brought him back up the ladder and onto dry ground.

He was subsequently brought to Mayo General Hospital where he made a full recovery.  The water was at high tide, approximately 20 feet deep and the temperature was freezing at the time of the incident.

“There is no doubt that but for the swift actions of Garda Mark Irwin and Garda John Boyle that the incident may have resulted in loss of life. The two gardaí involved displayed considerable courage in the actions they took. Without the swift actions of both gardaí the man concerned may well have perished,” said the council.

For their efforts, both gardaí were awarded a Bronze Medal and Certificate of Bravery.

At the ceremony this afternoon, two of the medals were Silver and thirteen were Bronze. Twenty-one certificates were also awarded. The Council hopes that this high profile ceremony will draw deserved attention to the brave actions of the recipients and heighten awareness of this national awards scheme generally.

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