Northern Ireland news

Gardaí to receive force's highest bravery awards

Stephen Dowling of Burrin Road, Carlow subsequently pleaded guilty to a number of charges related to the Glenties' shooting incident. Picture from RTÉ
Seamus McKinney

Four members of the Garda are to receive a bravery award for their part in disarming a man who started shooting with a high-velocity rifle as he walked through Glenties in Co Donegal three years ago.

Stephen Dowling (25) from Co Carlow was given a prison sentence after admitting charges relating to the incident in February 2020. A court hearing before Judge John Alymer in 2022 heard that Dowling lost control after consuming cocaine and alcohol on a night out.

Judge Alymer was told Dowling opened fire on houses and took aim at gardaí with a legally held rifle before he was arrested. Judge Alymer said the incident was like “a rampage from the wild west”.

Four gardaí who were involved in the operation to arrest Dowling are among a number of officers to be presented with Scott bravery medals on Friday. The Scott Medal is the highest award the Garda commissioner can bestow on officers for bravery.

Garda Louis Brown, Sergeant Edward Griffin and Detective Gardaí Darren Carter and Enda Jennings will receive Silver Scott Medals at a ceremony at Walter Scott House.

A Garda spokesman said: “Frontline uniform and plain clothes gardaí responded to and contained the scene whilst coming under fire from the armed male. The members subsequently arrested the male.”

A Bronze Scott medal will also be awarded posthumously to the late Sergeant Daniel Kelleher. Sergeant Keller who was shot and injured while taking part in the 1983 operation to rescue Provisional IRA kidnap victim, Don Tidey. Sergeant Kelleher’s colleague, Garda Gary Sheehan and Irish Army private, Patrick Kelly were shot dead during the search operation.

A Gold Scott medal will be awarded posthumously to Inspector Samuel Donegan (61) who died shortly after sustaining serious injuries when a booby trap bomb exploded near the Cavan/Fermanagh border in 1972.

Northern Ireland news