Wicklow couple who bravely rescued freezing dog from mountain reported to Gardai for breaching 5km rule

Wicklow couple who bravely rescued freezing dog from mountain reported to Gardai for breaching 5km rule

A BRAVE couple who rescued a freezing dog from a mountain in Co Wicklow have been reported to Gardai over their actions, which were a breach of the 5km restriction on non-essential travel. 

Back in January, an eight-year-old golden retriever called Neesha became separated from her owners during a hike in the Wicklow Mountains. 

Despite extensive searches, her family had all but given up hope of finding her after two weeks passed without any sign of their beloved pet. 

However, in a miraculous twist, Neesha ended up being found soon after by two hikers - Ciara Nolan and her partner, Francois - as they climbed to the peak of one of Ireland's highest mountains. 

The couple, who are both doctors, documented the rescue on TikTok, where they revealed they found Neesha in a frail state, unable to move due to the cold. 

Francois bundled the dog up in a coat and carried her on his back all the way back down the mountain, travelling an incredible 10km with the dog on his back. 

Safely back on level ground, Ciara and Francois ensured Neesha was warm and dry-- and then, after contacting a local animal charity, reunited her with her owners. 

A video showing their emotional reunion subsequently went viral on TikTok, providing social media users with a much-needed good cheer. 

@jeanfrancoiswillem#dog #lostdog #rescue #mountain #pet #ireland #lost #dublin @ciaranolan05♬ Surrender - Natalie Taylor

However, it has since emerged that at least one viewer decided to report the couple, who live in Arklow, Co Wicklow, amid suspicions they had breached lockdown restrictions in Ireland. 

Under the rules put in place by the Irish Government, residents are only allowed to exercise within 5km of the home. 

The couple were reportedly staying in the Elbowroom Escape lodge in Donard, Co Wicklow, at the time of the daring rescue. 

Elbowroom Escape previously stated it was offering “mental health breaks” to frontline workers during the pandemic. 

The now-deleted post read: “This January we hosted nurses, doctors and carers who were broken and just needed TLC and a break. All safely. 

“All following safety protocols. Now extended to February 21. We can provide a letter to travel for protection against psychological mental health injuries.” 

Elbowroom Escape has since be forced to close its doors to frontline workers. 

Gardai have also launched an investigation into the lodge. 

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said: "Gardai in Wicklow are carrying out inquiries in relation to a premises in the Donard area of Wicklow. 

:The premises in question remains closed pending the outcome of the Garda inquiry."