A retired Garda and two Gardaí were honoured at the National Bravery Awards today for foiling armed robberies in Saggart and Crumlin leading to the arrests of the perpetrators.
The Bravery awards were set up in 1947 to recognise those who risked their lives to save others and are administered by Comhairle na Míre Gaile – the Deeds of Bravery Council – which is chaired by Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD.
Retired Garda Desmond Brennan, Garda David Currivan and Garda Cathal McGeoghan were among 20 people honoured, including one posthumous award, at today’s ceremony at Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park.
Desmond Brennan was out with his son, a garda who was off-duty at the time, on 6 July 2013 when they heard that a robbery was in progress at Paddy Power Bookmakers nearby in Saggart.
They went to the scene and noticed two men on a motorbike about to leave the area.
They noticed that one of the men appeared to be holding a handgun.
Without hesitation, Mr Brennan and his son approached the motorbike and managed to unbalance it, knocking it on to its side.
They then tackled the two robbers, secured the handgun and restrained the men until the Gardaí arrived.
Retired Garda Brennan was awarded a Certificate of Bravery for his actions.
At 8.45pm on 30 November 2015, two men wearing balaclavas and armed with a metal bar and meat cleaver robbed a Spar shop on Clogher Road in Crumlin.
They threatened staff and customers with violence and stole a sum of money before making off in the direction of Sundrive Road.
Garda David Currivan and Garda Cathal McGeoghan were in a patrol car nearby when they were told about the robbery.
They pulled up behind the two suspects and Garda McGeoghan ordered them to halt.
The two men raised their weapons and advanced towards Garda McGeoghan, who was forced to deploy his pepper spray to defend himself.
The suspects turned and fled while Garda McGeoghan chased them on foot.
Garda Currivan drove ahead in the patrol car and attempted to block the suspects’ escape routes with the vehicle.
The two men again turned and attempted to assault Garda McGeoghan.
One of the men tried to strike the garda with the metal bar and Garda McGeoghan again deployed his pepper spray and was able to tackle the suspect, disarm him and arrest him.
At this stage, Garda Currivan exited the patrol car to apprehend the second suspect, who then attempted to strike the garda with the meat cleaver without success.
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. The second suspect was then arrested. All monies stolen were also recovered.
For their actions, Garda David Currivan and Garda Cathal McGeoghan were each awarded a Bronze Medal and a Certificate of Bravery.
Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said: “The National Bravery Awards give us an opportunity to celebrate the courage of our emergency services and people who risk their own safety to protect their fellow citizens.
“It is important to recognise the sacrifices made by people whose selflessness can serve to remind us of our duty of care to one another. It is an honour to present these 20 Bravery Awards today, including the posthumous award, and I thank all recipients for their courage.”
The Deeds of Bravery Council includes the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork, the Garda Commissioner, the President of the Association of City & County Councils and the Chair of the Irish Red Cross.
The Council may award Gold, Silver or Bronze medals as well as Certificates of Bravery.