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Monday, 28th November 2022

Drogheda Gardaí celebrate the centenary of the founding of the force

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Mounted GardaÍ take part in the parade through the streets of Drogheda on Satrrday in celebration of the centenary of the founding of An Garda Síochána. Photos: Andy Spearman.

The streets of Drogheda were closed on Saturday morning as current and former members of the local Gardaí were joined by the Garda Band and representatives of the Mounted Unit to celebrate the 100th anniversary of An Garda Síochána.

The Garda Band led the parade which started at St. Laurence’s Gate and stopped outside St. Peter’s Church in West Street where a stage had been assembled where the Mayor and other members of the County Council, and civil dignitaries were seated to review the parade.

In the course of his short speech to the assembled crowd the head of the Louth Garda Division, Chief Superintendent Alan McGovern remembered the five Gardaí from Louth who have lost their lives in the course of their duties:

Garda Sergeant Patrick Morrissey who, on 27th June, 1985, was shot dead at point blank range when he gave chase to armed raiders following a bank robbery in Ardee.

Detective Garda Aidan Donohue who was who was fatally shot in Bellurgan on 25 January 2013 during a robbery by an armed gang at Lordship Credit Union.

Garda Tony Golden - was shot dead by a dissident republican in a murder–suicide attack near Omeath on 11 October 2015.

Garda Desmond Dixon died on 15th November, 2001 when he was driving an official unmarked Garda car at Southern Link Road, Dundalk.  The patrol car was struck by an oncoming vehicle travelling on the wrong side of the dual carriageway.

Garda John Malley was knocked down and killed while on foot at a checkpoint near Dundalk on 5 May, 1973.

The familiar faces of retired local Gardaí taking part in the parade.

After a minute’s silence was observed in memory of the five men, the Chief Superintendent said that the last four years have without doubt been the most challenging in the proud history of Drogheda.

He recognised the contribution of all serving, retired and deceased members of Garda staff who have served in the Louth Garda in the past 100 years. He also thanked all of our public representatives for their continued support.

“Our Mission Statement “Keep people safe” is consistent with what everyone here wants and that is a safer community for all.

“This is a proud day for An Garda Síochána and a proud day for Drogheda and I thank each and every one of the people of Drogheda and of Louth for your continued support.

“Our greatest honour is to serve you and we look forward to building on our excellent relationship in the coming years.”

The Mayor of Drogheda addresses the crowd in West Street for the Garda Centenary celebrations. 

Next to the microphone was the Mayor of Drogheda, Councillor Michelle Hall who said she was delighted to be able to pass on her congratulations on behalf of the people of Drogheda Borough District to An Garda Siochana on the 100th anniversary of the organisation.

“An Garda Siochana believe that effective and efficient policing depends on securing the confidence, support and cooperation of local communities and engaging with those communities” she said.

“In Drogheda the Gardaiare held in the highest esteem because you aim to keep to those principles to the best of your ability and resources.” 

The mayor then passed on comments from the new Interim Chairperson of Drogheda United, Cllr Joanna Byrne who she quoted as saying: “The warm, welcoming, family atmosphere is largely credited to An Garda Siochana for their part in delivering this.

Superintendent Andrew Watters presents Sarah Carey with a framed copy of the poster she designed for the centenary event. On left is the Principal of St,. Oliver's Commnity College John Halpin while on right is Garda Amy O'Sullivan.

“Their constant presence and support to the management of the club ensures streamlined delivery of the ultimate match experience for fans young and old. Drogheda United would like to thank you for your ongoing commitment to the Drogs and congratulate you on your centenary celebrations.”

The Mayor also quoted Cliodhna Cunningham, Manager of the Connect Family Resource Centre saying: “The staff team in Connect FRC has built a relationship with the community Gardaí which is built on trust, collaboration, support and a sense of community.

“They run Garda clinics where community members can come for confidential information and advice, they drop in to our weekly walking group, get involved in many of our events whether that means playing tug o war with the kids at our sports day, doing a bit of line dancing to celebrate active age week, helping us make food hampers or providing us transport like bringing us to Dublin last week with a group of men for international men's day.

“This hands on approach helps built relationships with community members of all ages and creates meaningful and innovative approaches to fulfilling their roles.” 

The Garda Band make their way down Laurence Street.
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