Chef saves woman from Liffey after violent mugging
A chef is being hailed a hero after he jumped into the River Liffey to rescue a woman who had fallen in.
Diarmuid Comerford was walking home from work in Temple Bar along Dublin's Bachelor's Walk when he spotted an argument between a couple and a group of youths.
He told the Herald that the couple, who are believed to be from Sardinia off the coast of Italy, ended up in the water.
Mr Comerford (27), from Co Kerry, called gardai before stripping off and jumping into the Liffey where he rescued the young woman.
"I saw some lad trying to climb out of the river and then he was back in again.
"I looked in the water and I could see a woman. She had just floated into a little patch of light.
"She was holding her head above the water but she couldn't swim. She wasn't treading water, she was just drifting.
"I gave the phone to this other passer-by and I just jumped into the river and brought her over to the Southside wall.
"People threw us down a buoy and we climbed up," he said.
Mr Comerford said that he and the couple were suffering from shock after the incident.
An ambulance arrived and quickly brought them to St James's Hospital.
"When they took her to the hospital, she was really, really cold. Her core temperature was very low," he added.
The couple had been sitting alone on Bachelor's Walk at around 11.25pm on Tuesday, June 21.
Mr Comerford said the youths approached them and started demanding cash and telephones.
"They asked them for cigarettes. When the couple didn't have a cigarette, they took the man's phone, his expensive watch, his wallet," he explained.
"I think she had tried to hold on to her phone and one of the girls who was in the group grabbed her hair and before either of them knew what was happening they were both in the water."
Mr Comerford, who is originally from Lauragh in Co Kerry, is working as a chef in Klaw restaurant in Temple Bar.
"My brother and I had lifeguard training lessons when we were in secondary school. I never really had to use them ... but seeing the woman in trouble, it all came back to me very quickly," he said.
"I feel overwhelmed by the attention," he told this newspaper.
"It's a nice thing to have done. I know for myself the next time I see somebody drowning that I will be able to do it.
"Having said that, I hope I never have to do it again," he added.
humble A garda spokesman confirmed that they have received a complaint about an incident on June 21 in Dublin's inner city.
"We are investigating the circumstances of this incident," the spokesperson told the Herald.
Mr Comerford's mother, Oonagh, said she is "extremely proud" of her son's actions.
"I'm really proud of him and he's so humble about the whole incident," she said.
"I had no idea that he rescued the woman at night, which adds to the whole terror of the incident in a way.
"I used to organise the Swim Week years ago and that's where he learned water safety techniques," she added.