‘After me was the Dáil, so I had to stop him’

Sergeant Dwayne Conlon was awarded a Bronze Scott Medal for risking his life while apprehending a man who had entered the grounds of the Dáil, having armed himself with a sword and knives.

‘After me was the Dáil, so I had to stop him’

The shocking incident occurred on April 29, 2014.

Sgt Conlon, who was on protective duty at Leinster House on the day, said: “I confronted him and in a struggle I disarmed him of the sword and arrested him for the offences for which he was prosecuted for. He had four serrated kitchen knives in his boots as well.”

“It was shock initially — I knew I had to do something about it. After me, was the front door of the Dáil, so I had to stop him.”

He said modestly: “There wasn’t much finesse in it. I brought him to the ground, (and was) restraining him, and with the assistance of my colleagues disarmed him of the sword.”

He said that at one point, during the incident, the man “lifted the sword as if he was preparing to swing it but he never actually swung the sword at me”.

“I think he was more shocked to see me standing there as he came down off the plinth in the front of the Dáil,” Garda Conlon, who is based at Dundalk Garda Station, added.

“It hasn’t really affected me. I did think about it and when you do see things around the world you do wonder that it could have gone badly wrong, but thankfully it didn’t.

“It was a gut reaction. It didn’t really require much thought process. You just get on with it, that’s just the way the guards deal with things.”

Motorcycle Garda Michael Twomey, based at Anglesea St Station in Cork, was also awarded a Bronze Scott Medal after he was seriously injured while attempting to apprehend a man driving a stolen van.

The van had failed to stop at a Garda checkpoint in the Douglas area and was being driven in an extremely dangerous manner.

Garda Twomey went to assist colleagues and became aware the van was travelling along the Old Mallow Road.

Having driven ahead of the van towards the N20, at the junction of the Old Mallow Road and the main Cork/Limerick Road, to stop approaching traffic, he took up position on the Cork side of the junction, and, seated on his garda motorcycle, he activated his blue lights.

The van arrived at the junction and drove straight at Garda Twomey, making no attempt to avoid him.

Garda Twomey was struck by the van with such force that he was thrown into the air from his motorcycle, landing several yards away and suffering serious injury.

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