Tragic garda hero's family thank public
THE heartbroken family of Garda Ciaran Jones, who lost his life in October's floods, have paid tribute to the enormous level of public support they have received.
The off-duty garda from Manor Kilbride in Co Wicklow was swept to his death while coming to the aid of a stranded motorist in a freak accident.
Ciaran's parents, John and Brenda, said that the family have been overwhelmed by the level of support from those who clearly respected the late garda.
"The depth and strength of the community support in Wicklow was shown by the number of people that rallied to help search for Ciaran initially and who visited our home and respectfully attended his funeral services in the following days," John said.
"It meant a lot to me, Brenda, his sister Michelle, his brother Alan and Ciaran's girlfriend Clare Kennedy that so many people made such efforts to sympathise with us and to pay tributes and respect to Ciaran."
Garda Jones (24) was a member of the gardai for four years and was based at Stepaside in south Co Dublin.
He came to the assistance of a group of motorists during torrential rain at Ballysmuttan Bridge, close to his family's home in Manor Kilbride.
He was a keen Gaelic football player with Kilbride GAA team and was proud to line out in his county colours.
"As a lifelong member of the GAA, Ciaran was very aware of its tradition in Wicklow and he was very proud to represent his county at every level," his father John said.
"The overwhelming support from GAA clubs and members from every county in Ireland was a real tribute to Ciaran and a great comfort to all."
"It would be wrong of us to single out any individuals or businesses as we would be in danger of overlooking someone, the list was so long," he added.
"We would just like to express our great appreciation for the selfless generosity that was extended to us on Ciaran's behalf by all the people across the county of Wicklow and beyond."