The heroic actions of a garda who has saved the lives of two people over the past two weeks have highlighted the need for better water safety in Ireland.
Garda Dave Hearne is reported to have taken to Waterford's River Suir and the Colligan River in Dungarvan to save two people in the last fortnight.
Two weeks ago he entered the River Suir at Rice Bridge and brought a man to safety on the river bank at Sallypark.
On Monday he aided a young man who fell into the Colligan River in Dungarvan town. He was able to secure the semi conscious man and members of the Waterford Fire Service was able to pull them ashore.
These two lives seem to be the latest in a string of heroics for Garda Hearne, as he has been involved in seven rescues over the last number of years as well as saving two men from drowning in the same day in April 2007.
Labour TD Ciara Conway has said that the life saving work of a member of An Garda Siochana has highlighted the need for continued vigilance when it comes to water safety.
"I’d like to commend him on his actions" said Deputy Conway.
"Garda Hearne is a hero. His brave actions are being highlighted in a week when the Irish Water Safety records have been released, showing that there were 91 drownings last year- that’s the lowest number in 78 years."
Garda Hearne spoke on WLR FM and said, "It's very important that life saving equipment is kept in good condition and not vandalised."
Deputy Conway called on the Environment Minister, Alan Kelly, to continue vital funding that could save lives.
“I am urging the Minister to continue to prioritise funding for water safety resources and education measures, in the hope that more lives can be saved and accidents prevented."
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