Retired gardaí honoured by their communities

 Sgt Bill Daly, known for his love of sport, and Garda Larry O'Hara,  dubbed 'the singing garda'.. Picture: Dan Linehan

Two gardaí, one who became a double world champion road bowler and the other who once guarded Lord Mountbatten, have been honoured by their communities following their retirements.

When Larry O’Hara recently retired he was the longest serving member of the force, with more than 40 years under his belt.

The native of Carrick-On-Suir, Co Tipperary, spent most of his career policing the Garda Cork North Division.

However, prior to that, and while stationed in Galway, he acted as an armed protection officer for Lord Louis Mountbatten and Lord and Lady Brabourne and their two sons — one of whom was murdered by IRA along with Mountbatten in Sligo in 1979.

Two years after that, he helped in an operation which resulted in the arrest of members of an armed gang who raided the AIB in Mitchelstown, stole a large sum of cash, and put a gun to the head of another garda.

In 1998 he spotted the getaway car used in an armed robbery in Clonmel parked in Fermoy Town Park, which later led to the arrest of three criminals.

Larry is known as “the singing garda”, because, along with his trusted Gibson guitar, he has performed in many venues over the years in Cork, Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick, Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Bill “the bowler” Daly was earlier this week honoured by Glanmire Sports, Business and Community Awards, sponsored by Fitzgerald’s Vienna Woods Hotel, for his 36 years of service in the force.

Originally from West Cork, most of his career was spent in Glanmire. He was a director of the community association for many years and on the board of management and parents’ council of Glanmire Community College.

However, he is known the length and breadth of the country for his road bowling prowess.

In 1980, he won two golds at the European Championships in Netherlands and still holds the record for being the onlysenior player ever to have done so.

The same year he received an All Star award for bowling, presented by the late Jack Lynch.

In 1984, he went on to win the senior All-Ireland title and a silver medal in road bowling at the European Championships in Germany. The next year he took part in the inaugural World Road Bowling Championship and won the title. Later that year, he lofted the Chetwynd Viaduct on the Bandon Road.

In 1987, Bill won the World Road Bowling Championships, defeating opposition from Armagh, Germany, Netherlands, and Scotland.

He currently leads the field with five King of the Road titles.


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