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Brave ex-garda awarded for foiling armed robbers with son


Garda Jason Walsh with partner Suzanna O’Hurley, their son Ryan and his bravery award

Garda Jason Walsh with partner Suzanna O’Hurley, their son Ryan and his bravery award

Colin Keegan

Garda Jason Walsh with partner Suzanna O’Hurley, their son Ryan and his bravery award

Retired detective garda Desmond Brennan, who tackled an armed robber with his son, has been awarded a certificate of bravery at a ceremony in Dublin.

Mr Brennan (69), who lives in Rathcoole, and his detective garda son David, who was off duty, heard a report that a robbery was in progress at a bookmaker's in Saggart, Co Dublin.

The two had met up that evening for a drink.


"A fella came into the pub and said there are two outside with a gun," Mr Brennan said.

"We ran out, and it was just roughly 20 paces around the corner to where the bookies was and we saw the two fellas getting up on a motorbike.

"The pillion passenger put the gun into his trousers and as he did so they drove off.

"They came towards us, David ran across the road and jumped into the air and caught him with a kick to the shoulder.

"David had him pinned to the ground and the gun spilled out of his tracksuit bottoms.

"I took the gun and I emptied the bullets out and held on to him with David, until local gardai arrived," said the former detective, who was based in Kevin Street for 41 years.

His son was previously awarded a Scott Medal for his role in foiling the burglary in July 2013.

A total of 20 National Bravery Awards, including one posthumous honour, were awarded by Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail at a ceremony in Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park yesterday, to those who had risked their own lives to aid others in peril.

Also receiving awards were Garda Darren Blackwell, Garda Sergeant Gavin Coleman, Garda MJ Carroll and Garda Jason Walsh, who came to the aid of a man in difficulty on the parapet of the M50 Bridge over the Strawberry Beds in September 2018.

Despite a steep potential drop of 43m, they did not hesitate to help the man who was attempting to jump off.

They managed to hold on to him and pull him back across the barriers.

Also among the recipients was Sligo man Basil Harte, who received a bravery award for the second time.


Yesterday's award related to an incident on February 2, 2017, when he spotted three women in distress in the Garavogue river in Sligo.

"One fell in, and the other two went in to get her, and none of them could get out," he said.

Two gardai arrived and they managed to rescue one of the girls who appeared to be unconscious, while Mr Harte helped her friends out.

He previously assisted another woman in the same spot.