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Sunday 22 April 2018

'Gut' told garda to tackle Dail sword attacker

A bronze Scott Medal was awarded to Sgt Dwayne Conlon of Pearse Street Station
A bronze Scott Medal was awarded to Sgt Dwayne Conlon of Pearse Street Station

An unarmed garda has explained his decision to tackle a man armed with a sword outside Leinster House as "a gut reaction".

Sgt Dwayne Conlon, who was then a garda based at Pearse Street Station in Dublin, confronted the man as he was coming out of Leinster House on April 29, 2014.

"He was carrying his grandfather's cavalry sword but had four serrated knives in his boots as well," he said.

"I was shocked initially but I knew I had to do something about it. Next after me was the front door of the Dail, so I had to stop him.

"There was not much finesse in it. I brought him to the ground after a struggle and, with the assistance of two colleagues, disarmed him."

Sgt Conlon said the man lifted the sword as if he was preparing to swing it, but did not.

Medal

He said his gut reaction decision to confront him did not require much thought, other than: "What am I going to do here, how am I going to bring this to a positive outcome?"

Sgt Conlon was awarded a bronze Scott Medal for his bravery at a special ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore yesterday.,

Overall, 17 Scott medals were awarded.

Another recipient was Gda David Brennan, who became the latest member of his family to be awarded a Scott medal - his uncle Kieran Brennan received one in 1982.

Garda widow Nicola Golden
Garda widow Nicola Golden

On July 6, 2013, Gda Brennan was off-duty and socialising with his father, Desmond, a retired detective, in Jacobs in Saggart when they learned that the Paddy Power shop next door was being robbed.

The driver of the getaway motorcycle drove at Gda Brennan, who ran towards it.

With the help of his father he managed to knock the motorbike to the ground.

Gda Brennan was awarded a bronze medal.

Meanwhile, a gold Scott medal was awarded posthumously to Gda Tony Golden, who was shot dead in Omeath, Co Louth, in October 2015 while helping a woman to leave a violent relationship. Gda Golden's widow, Nicola, accepted the award.

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