A Donegal Garda who helped saved the life of a man who was swept away in a river has been commended for her bravery at the National Bravery Awards.
Garda Róisín O’Donnell, who is originally from Letterkenny, along with colleague Garda Keenan McGavisk responded to reports of a man in difficulty in the River Dee at Cappocksgreen, Ardee, Co Louth at 1.30am on 30 March, last year.
Along with Garda Conor Tuite they 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. There were signs that the man was in significant distress.
Garda Tuite immediately ran in search of a lifebuoy while requesting on his radio for 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 who attended the scene and later by the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Services.
Both attended Farmleigh House yesterday where they were awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.