Award for Limerick garda who risked life to save woman

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Garda Joseph Hayes receives a bronze medal from Sean Barrett TD at the National Bravery Awards. Picture: Maxwells
A LIMERICK-based garda, who risked his own life to save a woman from the river Shannon last year was honoured at the National Bravery Awards.

A LIMERICK-based garda, who risked his own life to save a woman from the river Shannon last year was honoured at the National Bravery Awards.

Garda Joseph Hayes, who is attached to Henry Street garda station, was honoured for his role in the dramatic incident which happened on June 6, 2012.

Garda Hayes, who is also the Clare senior football goalkeeper, was on duty with colleagues in the Dock Road area at around 6.30am when they noticed a woman standing on the quayside near the river Shannon.

The two gardai were concerned for her welfare and stopped to talk to her.

However, the woman jumped into the water despite garda efforts to prevent her from doing so.

Garda Hayes immediately reacted and also entered the water in an effort to rescue the woman.

He quickly swam to her assistance and brought her back to the quayside where, with the help of his colleagues, she was removed from the water and taken by ambulance to hospital.

Garda Hayes was one of 16 individuals from across the country who received medals at the National Bravery Awards ceremony which took place at Farmleigh House in Dublin.

“The River Shannon is tidal and at that time of the year, it can reach six metres. At the time the tide was coming in and the force and swell of the river was made worse by heavy rain that had previously fallen. The currents in such conditions are treacherous and Garda Hayes faced a real risk to his own life in saving this woman,” read the citation for the bronze medal, which was presented to Garda Hayes by the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett.

Meanwhile, Garda James Hanley, who is originally from Mungret, also received a bronze medal for bravery.

This was after Garda Hanley, who is stationed in Ennis, helped rescue a woman from the River Fergus on January 13, last.

The National Bravery Awards are awarded by Comhairle na Mire Gaile - � the Deeds of Bravery Council - which was established in 1947 to provide for suitable recognition by the State of deeds of bravery.