Memorial service honours gardaí killed on duty

The ceremony was attended by around 600 people including the family and friends of officers who lost their lives

Memorial service honours gardaí killed on duty

Members of An Garda Siochana in Dubh Linn Gardens in Dublin Castle for the Annual Garda Memorial Day, 20-05-2017. Image: Sam Boal/Rollingnews

The 88 members of An Garda Síochána who have lost their lives while on duty since the foundation of the state were remembered at a ceremony in Dublin today.

The service, attended by members of all rank and position, was held at Dublin Castle.

The ceremony was attended by around 600 people including the family and friends of officers killed in the line of duty.

The most recent fatality in the force was that of Garda Tony Golden – who was shot dead in 2015 after answering a call in relation to a domestic dispute.

Both the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and the Minster for Justice Frances Fitzgerald reportedly arrived at the ceremony just as it was ending.

Minister Fitzgerald was attending the launch of Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar’s campaign for the leadership of Fine Gael.

The commissioner was reportedly on annual leave and arrived in civilian clothes as the ceremony was ending.

Father Joe Kennedy, who delivered the service, made direct mention of the root and branch review of the gardaí, which was confirmed earlier this week – and spoke about the damaging effect of recent controversies in the force.

Mentioning the ongoing Fine Gael leadership campaign Fr Kennedy expressed his hope that any change in the Ministry of Justice does not impact on the time and resources needed by the gardaí.

“With violence, unrest and many other anti-social behaviours comes the need for men and women like the members of An Garda Síochána and the PSNI, on our behalf, to help them to prevent evil from threatening our freedom and our peace,” he said.

The Deputy Commissioner Donal Ó Cualain addressed the service in place of Commissioner O’Sullivan.

He read out the name of every officer who has died on duty at the end of the ceremony – while the national anthem played in the background.