Brave Gardai honoured

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THREE local gardai and a retired garda were amongst a group of 20 people who were recognised for courageous acts of bravery – including intervening in an armed robbery and rescuing a man who tried to jump off a bridge – at the National Bravery Awards in Farmleigh House on Friday.

Retired garda Des Brennan, who lives in Saggart and is a member of St Mary’s GAA Club, received a Bravery Award, after quick-thinking actions by himself and his son foiled an attempted armed robbery from a Paddy Powers betting shop in Saggart in July 2013.

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Garda Seán Breheny received a Silver National Bravery Award at Farmleigh with his wife Claire and their daughter Anna (5) and sons Ruán and Sé (2)

Des was in a nearby pub with his son, a garda who was off-duty at the time of the incident, when a local man came into the pub and said a robbery was taking place in the bookmakers next door.

Des and his son immediately left the pub to confront the two robbers, one  with a handgun, who were on a motorbike preparing to leave the scene.

The father and son approached the robbers on the motorbike and unbalanced the bike, knocking it onto its side, and they then tackled the two robbers, secured the handgun and restrained the men until the gardai arrived.

“We never had any hesitation about running out,” Des told The Echo.

“Over the years we’ve gone into many situations like robberies and stuff, where you show up but you don’t know what’s ahead of you.

“We took them off the bike and restrained them. It all happened in a few seconds.”

Des is the fourth member of his family, several of whom are gardai, to receive a bravery award for his actions, and he added that his family is very proud of him.

Also at the awards ceremony was Garda Sean Breheny from Templeogue, who risked his own life when rescuing a man who attempted to jump off a bridge at the Snugborough Road/N3 Flyover in June 2018.

Garda Breheny, along with one of his colleagues, approached the man, while other gardai attempted to block the fast-flowing traffic underneath the bridge.

As a Dublin Bus approached underneath the bridge, the man pushed himself back against the bridge railing and jumped, which prompted Garda Breheny to run to the railing, reach over, grab the man by his left arm and swing him back over the railing, where he was subdued.

Another two gardai that were recognised are, Garda David Currivan and Garda Cathal McGeoghan were each awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery, for their actions during the robbery of a Spar shop on Clogher Road in Crumlin in November 2015.

Two men wearing balaclavas and armed with a metal bar and meat cleaver robbed the shop, before making off in the direction of Sundrive Road.

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Des Brennan, who received a Certificate at The National Bravery Award at Farmleigh, with his wife Marie

Garda Currivan and Garda McGeoghan were in a nearby patrol car when they were told about the robbery. They pulled in behind the two suspects where Garda McGeoghan told them to stop.

In response, the two suspects raised their weapons and advanced towards the garda, who took out his pepper-spray to defend himself, causing the two suspects to turn and flee.

Garda McGeoghan chased the suspects on foot while Garda Currivan drove ahead in the patrol car and attempted to block the suspects’ escape routes with the vehicle.

During the course of the chase, the suspects again attempted to assault Garda McGeoghan, who deployed his pepper-spray and was able to tackle one of the suspects, whom he disarmed and arrested.

At this point, Garda Currivan exited the patrol car to apprehend the second suspect, who then unsuccessfully attempted to strike the garda with the meat cleaver.

The second suspect then ran at Garda McGeoghan again, who deployed his pepper-spray for a third time to defend himself and retain custody of the first suspect.

The second robber then fled towards Clogher Road and scaled a wall at a house on the road. Garda Currivan pursued the man but lost sight of him.

The Garda Air Support Unit was called in and the helicopter crew observed the man moving through gardens near Clogher Road, and the second suspect was then arrested. All monies stolen were also recovered.

Twenty people were recognised at the awards, which were set up in 1947 to recognise those who risked their lives to save others.

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