Gardaí in Ennis, Co. Clare, are being applauded for their quick thinking in saving the life of a newborn baby girl.

The public office in an Irish Garda (police) station is normally a quiet enough space reserved for those looking to get a passport or other forms officially signed but on April 6, Ennis Garda station in Co. Clare was the scene of an incredible act of heroism as two Gardaí saved the life of a nine-day-old newborn baby girl.

Baby Holly was walking locally with her parents Amanda Carmody and Michael Coughlin when her mother realized the baby had stopped breathing and had turned blue. Rushing to the police station for help, they were met by Garda Patrick McCormack, just four months out of Garda training college, who reassured the parents and immediately called the ambulance.

They were quickly joined by Garda Ken Butler, who is attached to the Divisional Roads Policing unit and a trained paramedic, who performed two rounds of back slaps on Baby Holly and administered oxygen through a tube from the first aid kit before the nine-day-old baby stopped choking.

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"He was fantastic, did great work," Carmody said, praising the efforts of both men in jumping to action to save her little girl.

"He was out of this world. If it wasn't for him we don't know what would have happened the poor baby."

Garda McCormack. Image: Clare Echo.

Garda McCormack. Image: Clare Echo.

Baby Holly is since said to have made a full recovery and to be doing well. She was taken by ambulance from the Garda Station for observation.

Probationary Garda McCormack, 25, said he was never so happy as to hear the baby start to cry once again. Chief Superintendent John Kerin has sent a note to Templemore Training College commending their training that allowed McCormack the ability to think so quickly on his feet.

“I am very proud of the professional and brave response of both Gardaí,” he told The Clare Echo.

“Garda McCormack … has less than four months’ service.  It was a daunting challenge but his reaction was immediate and his response was first class, as was that of Garda Butler.  It copper-fastens the necessity for all front-line responders to be trained in First Aid. The response of Gardai reflects well on their training.”

Also present in the Garda station at the time of the incident was the independent member of Clare Co. Council Ann Norton. She said that the family was “very lucky that the gardaí were so on the ball and so confident in what they were doing.”

“I would like to compliment the two gardaí - they were superb,” Norton added.

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