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"Hero" gardaí rescue child from sixth floor apartment as witness Senator calls for their pay to be hiked

The ladder rescue happened on the Dock Road, Limerick, this morning.

shutterstock_373710136 Shutterstock / think4photop Shutterstock / think4photop / think4photop

A FINE GAEL Senator has said gardaí should be paid more after witnessing a member of the force rescuing a two-year old boy who was hanging out of a window at a six-storey apartment block this morning.

The child was seen hanging out of the window from the second floor at the Mount Kennett apartment block, on the Dock Road, Limerick, around 11.30am.

Garda Brian Delee, from Tipperary, based at Limerick’s Henry Street Garda Station, attended the scene with his colleague Ger Summerly, from Co Clare. Within seconds the quick-thinking officers procured a ladder from a passing van driver before Garda Delee courageously scaled 35 feet to ensure the boy’s safety.

It’s believed the boy and his one-year old sister were being looked after by a relative at the time.

Garda Delee said afterwards that he had no training scaling ladders but that “adrenaline took over”. “When you see a child, like that, you just go,” he added.

FG Senator Kieran O’Donnell who witnessed the incident unfold, described the two uniformed gardai as “heroes”.

“It just shows you the (Garda) rapid response and it shows you how important it is to have gardaí on the ground.”

As he looked up at the window where the boy was hanging from, he added: “They are two very brave gardaí because it’s very, very high up. If the child had fallen at that distance I wouldn’t like to think about it.”

Asked if he believed gardai should be paid more, Senator O’Donnell replied: “Clearly yes”.

dock road Dock Road, Limerick

But that must be the subject of discussions with government, and now involving the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court.
I hope a speedy resolution can be found.

Special case

Senator O’Donnell who lost his Dail seat in the last General Election added: “I believe the gardai are a special case, and I certainly am aware of the financial pressures, in particular that young gardaí are under.”

I witnessed first-hand this morning how important gardaí are to our daily lives. The fact that two members of the force were on the scene very quickly, and acted in such a swift fashion, ensured the safety of this young child.
The two gardai said said they made a judgement call, that they couldn’t take the risk in respect of the child’s life, to wait for the other emergency services to arrive, so they took it upon themselves to go up a ladder to ensure the child was safe.

“As a father myself, I’m just reflecting in an honest way how fundamental and important gardaí are on the beat and generally are to our daily lives, in our safety, security, and daily life. What happened today shows what gardaí mean to the Irish public,” he added.

If the two gardaí didn’t respond with the speed they did today, and if they didn’t act in the skilful way that they did, they may not have been able to ensure that child’s safety.

File Photo Gardai strike looks to go ahead tomorrow.

City council employee Turlough McNamara, who also witnessed the incident, hailed the two gardaí and the van driver as “heroes”.

“I looked up and saw a baby boy hanging over the window. I started to panic, I shouted at him, ‘go back go back’. He was hanging over the window with his stomach out over it.” Mr McNamara added: “It was frightening. A few of us screamed at the child to get back in. There was enough of us there that, if, God forbid he had jumped, we would have caught him.”

Staff at Scanlon’s pharmacy, situated on the ground floor of the same building, alerted gardaí when they saw the child’s toys falling onto the ground outside their premises.

“Toys hitting the ground”

A member of staff, who did not want to be named said: “I heard the sound of the toys hitting the ground so I went out to have a look, but saw the little child at the window. I was shouting at him to stop and to go back from the window.”

It looked like he was on a step or a lip on the window and his head was coming more towards me, so we decided to call the gardaí. I just stood there trying to coax him back, but the child didn’t understand, he was too young.

Toys and clothes thrown out of the window by the toddler were strewn across the footpath and road below as gardaí followed by three fire trucks attached to the city and county fire service arrived.

The worker added: “His whole head was over the window, but the opening was big enough that he could have come out.”

The window opening wouldn’t have stopped his body, he could have fallen out.

The van driver, Pat McMahon, an employee with local security firm, CU Security, who helped the gardaí, said: “I saw the Garda running up the road to the apartment block, and he saw the ladder on top of my van and he pointed to me, so I backed up around the corner and threw the ladder up to him.”

I footed the ladder for him while he climbed up. It all worked out well.

Mr McMahon, a father of two from Raheen, added: “I saw the child as I was driving up the road. He was leaving out the window around 40 feet up in the air. If the child hit the ground he was a goner.”

Read: ‘Skeletal service’: These garda units will work tomorrow as most rank-and-file members go on strike

Read: Garda management says ‘technical error’ led to overpayment of probationers

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