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Brave swan rescue caught on camera

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The swan and her three cygnets somehow found themselves dangerously situated at the side of the road.
The swan and her three cygnets somehow found themselves dangerously situated at the side of the road.

Brave swan rescue caught on camera



Michael DuffyMichael Duffy

THE combined efforts of a photographer, a garda and a road safety officer were called upon last Thursday afternoon after a swan and three of her young became stranded on the side of the road between Killawalla and Partry.
Tourmakeady photographer and greyhound trainer Tommy Eibrand took it upon himself to try and get the bird back on water after she was wandering aimlessly, and dangerously, on the road beside a junction known locally as the Goat Hotel.
Tommy takes up the story himself.
“The swan was on the roadside just in front of the Goat Hotel and the road was busy as if was around 4.30pm. Cars and vans were flying past and she was in real danger of being run over so I called the Castlebar Gardaí. They said they would look into the situation.
While I was waiting for the gardaí to arrive, as luck would have it, Noel Gibbons, Mayo County Council Road Safety Officer turned up, as he only lives up the road in Cloonee.”
Tommy himself had no camera with him but Noel had, and duly handed it to Tommy to record the rescue.
“Local garda Jim Daly then turned up and he suggested we try and capture the swan and put her in the back of my estate car, where I normally carry my greyhounds.
I grabbed an old rug from the car and Jim bravely handled  the strong swan, placing her in the back of the car while Noel carried the three young cygnets.”
Tommy then drove his car towards Killawalla and at Drumminroe, the three disembarked and headed for the lake which is on the left as one drives from Partry to Killawalla.
“The two lads naturally had to move at speed so unfortunately I did not make it down to the lake on time to capture the swan being put back on water, but I am delighted we managed to get her and her young ones away from danger,” said Tommy.
Mr Gibbons said he was delighted to be able to take part in the rescue as the three men had saved the four birds and in the process had removed them from the road where they could have caused a road accident.
“I was traveling home from work and I came round the corner and saw the swan in the middle of road holding up the traffic. Thankfully, we got her cornered and we picked her up and put her in the van. This act could have prevented the bird and its young from getting killed on the road or causing an accident. It would have been easy for Tommy to ignore the bird but his concern is an example to all road users, we all have to do our bit to ensure accidents do not happen. Tributes should also be paid to Garda Daly, who showed great bravery in handling a strong and frightened bird.”