Two Gardai from Co Leitrim were among 42 rescuers from 24 dramatic near-death incidents to receive recognition at Irish Water Safety’s National Annual Awards Ceremony at The Print Works Conference Centre, Dublin Castle on Tuesday, November 17 last. Twenty-eight lives were saved from drowning through the brave actions of these rescuers.
Detective Garda Joanne Holohan from Drumreilly, a former Leitrim Ladies footballer, and her colleague Garda Frank Howlin were recognised for a rescue they carried out in Salthill, Galway.
“On the 23rd April 2015 at approximately 6.45pm, Detective Garda Holohan and Garda Frank Howlin received a call regarding two people in distress in the sea at Salthill. Upon arrival to the scene they assessed the situation and without hesitation D/Garda Holohan grabbed a ring buoy and swam out to sea towards the unconscious woman and her distressed cousin.
“Garda Howlin, having established the situation, requested further Garda assistance and the services of the RNLI and Coastguard. Using a ring buoy, both Gardai brought the women to safety to nearby rocks at the bottom of the cliff. They successfully administered CPR on the unconscious woman. Both women were treated for hypothermia and made a full recovery,” the citation read.
Well known Leitrim footballer, Garda Emlyn Mulligan from Kinlough was also honoured for a rescue of a woman in Longford Town.
The citation stated, “On the 2nd August 2013, Garda Mulligan received a report regarding a female in difficulty in the water at the River Camlin in Longford Town. Upon arrival to the scene, Garda Mulligan assessed the situation and without hesitation entered the water and swam out to the woman. He brought her to safety and she made a full recovery.”