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Victims receive bravery medals 40 years after Garryhinch bomb

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The late Michael Clerkin

The members of An Garda Siochana injured in a bomb attack in Garryhinch 40 years ago will be awarded with a Scott Medal for Bravery at a ceremony in Templemore Garda Training College this afternoon.

Jim Cannon, Ben Thornton, Tom Peters, Gerry Bohan and the family of the late Michael Clerkin will be honoured for their bravery in the incident which occurred on October 16 1976.

The four men suffered serious injuries and their colleague Garda Clerkin was killed in an IRA bomb at a farmhouse at Garryhinch, on the Laois Offaly border.

The award brings to an end a long campaign for recognition for the men.

The five garda officers had been lured to the property by terrorists who claimed they were holding the then Laois-Offaly Fine Gael TD Oliver J Flanagan, father of the current Laois Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Detonated

When Garda Clerkin entered the building, he detonated a gas cylinder that had been packed with explosives

The blast is believed to have been carried out by the IRA.

No one has ever been convicted of the bombing.

Fittingly, the presentation will be made by Minister Flanagan.

Another Laois man, Detective Garda David Brennan will also receive an award today for his role in disarming a man who had robbed a bookies in 2013.

Det Garda Brennan was off duty at the time, and thwarted the robbery along with his father Dessie, who is a retired garda.

He felt the recognition for the men and the family of Mr Clerkin was “long-overdue”.

“It is well-deserved and comes about from very sad circumstances,” he said.

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The LaoisToday 2017 Annual is now on sale in bookshops and newsagents around the county – this is where you can buy it