Memorial honours gardaí who died in the line of duty

THE State’s first official memorial to gardaí who died on duty will be unveiled today in Thurles.

The granite and limestone monument in St Mary’s Garden of Remembrance will mark the 31 officers who lost their lives in service since the force was established.

Garda Commissioner Noel Conroy will join family members of deceased officers at the unveiling ceremony.

Members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland have also been invited.

The 2.1-metre high and 2.25m wide limestone memorial will feature a centre plaque with the Garda Siochana crest and an inscription approved by Garda HQ in Dublin.

The event was organised by the local Duras Eile Eliogarty Memorial Committee which has already placed five other memorials in St Mary’s Garden.

These include commemorations for Thurles men who died in World War I, Irish soldiers who died in the 1960 Niemba Ambush in the Congo and Tipperary hurling legend Tom Semple.

The committee approached assistant commissioner for the south eastern region Noel Smith with the idea last year.

One of the officers who will be remembered in the memorial is local Thurles man, Sergeant Andy Callanan, who died preventing an arson attack on Tallaght Garda Station in July 1999 and Detective Garda Jerry McCabe who died in a botched IRA post office raid in Adare Co Limerick in June 1996.

Both officers received posthumous Scott medals for bravery in 2000.

Memorial Committee chairman John Wort said he was surprised that there had never been a memorial to the 31 officers.

“They should be remembered and honoured like everybody else,” he said.

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