Wicklow Garda Sergeant Pat Carroll was today awarded the Scott Medal at Dubhlinn Gardens, Dublin Castle this morning.
The Scott Medal is the highest award that can be bestowed by the Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and is awarded for ‘most exceptional bravery and heroism involving the risk of life in the execution of duty’.
On 15 November 2018, An Garda Síochána received a call that a male had called to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Avoca, Co. Wicklow to speak with the priest. The male was in an agitated state and requested to speak with Gardaí. When asked why, the male proceeded to take a firearm and a knife from his pocket. He informed the priest that the firearm was loaded and stated “I could do damage to myself or you”. The priest encouraged the male to wait in the church for members of An Garda Síochána.
Sergeant Patrick Carroll was one of the first members of An Garda Síochána to respond to the incident and took control of the scene. On the arrival of members of An Garda Síochána, the male exited the church, demanded to speak with a Sergeant and then returned to the church. The male subsequently exited the church and Sergeant Carroll identified himself.
With the knowledge that the male was agitated and armed with a firearm and knife, Sergeant Carroll struck up a conversation with the male in close proximity across the open railings.
The male spoke about killing himself and requested that Sergeant Carroll enter the church with him. Sergeant Carroll refused to go into the church with him but offered to meet him at the church gate and talk to him. Sergeant Carroll met the male at the church gate and spoke with him. The male then became less agitated. Sergeant Carroll then entered the church yard and sat on a bench, the male stood beside him and they continued the conversation.
The male then returned inside the church and during that time, two members of the Armed Support Unit arrived. Sergeant Carroll remained in the church yard for the male to return. The male walked out of the church again towards Sergeant Carroll who asked him if he had anything in his possession, the male replied “I have a gun”, and produced a gun. He was holding the gun by the barrel and the hand-grip was pointed towards Sergeant Carroll.
Sergeant Carroll requested the male to drop the gun three times, however, he then spun the gun in his hand and the gun ended up with the barrel pointed towards Sergeant Carroll. The male then ejected the magazine from the gun and dropped the gun to the ground. On searching the male, Sergeant Carroll found a knife in his possession. The male was taken into safe custody by members of the Armed Support Unit. He was subsequently charged and convicted of firearms and offensive weapon offences.
For exceptional courage and bravery involving personal risk to life in the execution of his duty, the Bronze Scott Medal is awarded to Sergeant Patrick Carroll.
Pat’s wife Val and his children Sarah and Shane were present at Dublin Castle to see Commissioner Drew Harris give the award to him.