Garda Ombudsman Commissioner Kieran Fitzgerald, is in a critical condition in hospital in Spain, after falling off a wall onto rocks while on holiday, writes David Raleigh.
Mr FitzGerald, a native of Glin, Co Limerick, and a past award winning RTE reporter, was appointed to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission in December 2011.
He had served as Head of Communications and Research for the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission since 2007.
Last week Mr Fitzgerald was seriously injured while on holiday in Northern Spain where doctors have placed him in a medically-induced coma.
His family are keeping a bedside vigil at his hospital in La Coruna.
It's understood Mr Fitzgerald sailed with friends from Dublin to Galicia in Northern Spain where he was to meet up with his wife Evelyn.
The couple had planned to walk part of the famous Camino de Santiago route.
However on arrival in Spain, Mr Fitzgerald is said to have felt faint before sitting down on a low wall where he lost his balance and fell onto rocks damaging his spine.
He underwent surgery at a hospital in La Coruna, but it's understood complications have arisen with his recovery.
Mr Fitzgerald’s wife and only child, and one of his two sisters, are with him in Spain.
Mr Fitzgerald comes from a well-known family in Glin.
He is the son of retired schoolteacher Kathleen, and the late Pat Fitzgerald, and has two sisters, Louise and Christina.
He is a former producer, reporter, and researcher with RTÉ, having worked on popular television and radio programmes, including The Late Late Show, Prime Time, and Liveline.
He was named News and Current Affairs Journalist of the Year in 1999, and is a former chair of the Dublin Broadcasting Branch of the National Union of Journalists.
He has a Doctorate in Governance from the School of Law at Queens University Belfast, and is a Member of the Executive Committee of the British & Irish Ombudsman Association.
Update 9pm: His family are keeping a vigil by his hospital bed hoping he will pull through.
He is said to be in a critical condition.
A source in Glin who did not wish to be named described Mr Fitzgerald as "a gentleman".
"We understand he is in a very serious condition, and that he sustained very serious damage to the back of his head," the source said.
"His two sisters live in Dublin but they have been looking after their mother who is 90. His sisters have gone to Spain to be with him."
"His mother Kathleen is very anxious to have him home, as you can imagine."
"Kieran loves coming home to Glin and he loves swimming in the Shannon whenever he is back here.
"He is an absolute gentleman."
He comes from a well known and highly respected family in Glin, and is the son of retired schoolteacher Kathleen, and the late Pat Fitzgerald.
He has two sisters, Louise and Christina.
"Everyone has great time for Kieran. There is always great excitement in Glin whenever he's on the television or the radio in is role with GSOC," they added.
"It's an awful blow to the family and to the whole community of Glin," they said. "It's a terrible tragedy."