Donegal gardaí honoured for bravery

Two Donegal gardaí have been honoured for saving a man from drowning.

Two Donegal gardaí have been honoured for saving a man from drowning.

James Conneely from Carrigart and Trevor Keating from Letterkenny were recognised after they bravely rescued a man from the Garavogue River in Sligo in September, 2009.

The Donegal gardaí were among fifteen officers who were presented with bravery awards by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett on behalf of the National Bravery Awards Council .

The citation for Garda Conneely and Trevor Keating read how a man came to the attention of the gardaí in Sligo Town where he was wandering around in a confused and incoherent state. Gardai observed the man making his way across a footbridge of the Garavogue River and jumping into the water.

The gardaí threw him a ring buoys that he made no effort to grab. The man was swept down the river by the strong current and it was estimated that he would have been swept out to sea in minutes. Garda Keating entered the river and attempted to rescue this person,but because of the strong current was unable to reach him.

Garda Keating got out of the river and made his way by foot along the river bank. Further down the river Garda Conneely along with Rory O Connor, a trained lifeguard, entered the river in a small boat they had untied by the rivers edge.

With only one oar, Garda Conneely successfully rowed the boat to the middle of the river where he and Mr O’Connor successfully intercepted the person, who was at this stage unconscious and face down in the water. Mr O’Connor applied CPR while Garda Conneely tried to row the boat to safety which was proving to be impossible due to the lack of a second oar and the ferocious current that was raging. Garda Keating re entered the water and assisted in getting the boat ashore, where he too assisted with CPR.