Belfast Telegraph

Tributes paid to Garda who died during wreck dive

Life saver: Dave Hearne
Life saver: Dave Hearne

By Ralph Riegel

An off-duty garda who died while diving off the Wexford coast has been hailed for his courage in risking his life many times to save others.

Tributes to father-of-four Dave Hearne (46) were led by Irish Bravery Awards Council (IBAC) chairman Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail, who said the garda followed in the footsteps of his father, who had been honoured for his courage in 1958.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Gda Hearne in Wexford," he said.

"He was a worthy recipient of a certificate of bravery in 2016 which was awarded to him for rescuing a man from the Colligan River in Waterford some years earlier."

Gda Hearne died after apparently suffering the 'bends' or decompression sickness during a recreational dive on a wreck site 15km off Hook Head on Saturday.

He was diving at the time with Hook Sub Aqua Club, of which he was a member.

Gda Hearne was a former member of the Garda Water Unit but had been based in Waterford over recent years as part of the Traffic Corps. He was an accomplished diver and had received multiple awards for water rescues over the years.

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