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Honour for off-duty gardai who tackled armed man with a hurley

TWO Dublin gardai were awarded Scott Medals for bravery after arresting an armed man with only a hurley.

Detective Gardai Jerome Twomey, stationed at Tallaght, and Alan Lynch, stationed at Ballymun, tackled the man at Westmanstown sports' complex in West Dublin in February 2009.

The arrest took place after a man was shot and injured in front of his children in the car park of the complex. The two hero officers were off duty at the time, responding when they spotted the incident. They received bronze Scott Medals for their actions.

The pair were two of five Dublin officers award Scott Medals yesterday at a ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore, Co Tipperary. The Scott Medal, named after former Commissioner of the New York Police department, Colonel Walter Scott, is presented each year to officers who display special acts of bravery.

Two gardai who were stabbed while grappling with an armed burglar were also honoured. Garda James Hendrick and his colleague Garda David Comer risked their lives in 2005 when they struggled to rescue three people held hostage in North Dublin.

Garda Comer was brutally stabbed three times in the back while grappling with an balaclava-clad armed man.

In an attempt to save his colleague's life, Garda Hendrick ran to his assistance but was stabbed in the chest and arms.

He described how it "felt like an eternity" as Garda Comer was "fighting for his life" in the upstairs bathroom of a house in Raheny.

Two Chinese nationals were sentenced to a total of seven years in jail in July 2005 for the stabbing.

The incident provoked An Garda Siochana to issue stab vests to all members of the force.

Another Dublin garda, Ethel O'Flynn, received the award for pursuing a knife attacker who had tried to flee on a bicycle from a post office at Harold's Cross in December, 2009.