Public praise for garda’s bravery

A LOCAL retired Garda superintendent was honoured at a ceremony in Templemore on Monday for an act of bravery dating back to the time of the Troubles.

A LOCAL retired Garda superintendent was honoured at a ceremony in Templemore on Monday for an act of bravery dating back to the time of the Troubles.

Supt Aiden Roche and three colleagues were awarded Scott gold medals for bravery on October 2, 1975, by then-Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, but he did not receive a public citation until now for legal reasons.

“It was a lovely ceremony in Templemore,” Supt Roche said of Monday’s event, and he also said he was enjoying his retirement. “I am alive and well.”

He was among seven gardaí honoured at the ceremony at the Garda College, in his case for actions in 1975 taken to arrest an IRA prisoner who had escaped from the top-security prison in Portlaoise, where Mr Roche was based as a garda at the time.

The man in question, Kevin Mallon, was seen at a dance along with other republican activists, some of whom pointed guns at Mr Roche and his three colleagues. One of the republicans also attempted to fire a gun at them, and Mr Roche was physically attacked in the incident, but he still managed to hold on to Mallon and bring him back into custody.