CALLS have been made to award Scott medals for bravery to the two gardai who were shot at in Newport on Monday night.
Limerick man Tony McMahon, 45, fired up to seven shots at the unarmed officers before turning the weapon on himself. Cllr John “Rocky” McGrath says the immense courage of Sergeant Deborah Marsh and Garda Gerry Brassil should be recognised.
“Definitely they should receive medals for bravery. What they did was unbelievable and thank God they weren’t injured,” said Cllr McGrath.
Sources say it is a complete miracle that the Sgt Marsh and Garda Brassil survived with minor injuries after Mr McMahon opened fire on them with a shotgun and rifle.
“Only for the grace of God and their heroic actions we would be marching behind a hearse,” one garda told the Leader.
When Garda Brassil approached the van after stopping it at a checkpoint outside the village Mr McMahon grabbed a double barrelled shotgun and pointed it at the officer.
The garda managed to push the barrel of the gun away from his head as a shot was discharged. A struggle took place as Garda Brassil wrestled with Mr McMahon to disarm him.
Sgt Marsh rushed to her colleague’s aid and pepper sprayed Mr McMahon.
A second gunshot was fired through the roof of the van as the struggle continued before Garda Brassil gained control of the shotgun.
Mr McMahon then produced a rifle and pointed it towards Sgt Marsh. Another shot was discharged, but the sergeant escaped injury.
The officers sprinted for cover. The patrol car was hit at least four times. Mr McMahon then discharged a final shot - wounding himself fatally in the head.
He moved to Rearcross last year but wasn’t well known in Newport.