Trip down memory lane for ex-sergeant

He raised his family and worked within the walls of Elizabeth Fort, and yesterday, he returned for the first time in almost 20 years for a trip down memory lane.

Trip down memory lane for ex-sergeant

Former garda Mike Houlihan, from Ventry, was the sergeant in charge at the former Barrack St station, which was located just inside the fort’s walls, when he retired from the force on June 11, 1979, after 34 years and four days in uniform.

He, his wife, and children lived in a house just next to the station, which closed last year.

Now aged 90, he has been retired longer than he served.

Before yesterday’s handover ceremony, he walked with former colleague, Dan Lane, who retired from the force in 2004, through the now empty station, recalling happy times.

“I remember my son, Sean, playing with Donie Forde, in the garden outside,” he said. “I felt very much at home here. I have great respect for the people of Barrack St.”

Mike would go to 7.30am Mass at St Augustine’s before reporting for duty, getting a report from gardaí who were on duty overnight. “There were great men attached to this station. They were proud of the place and of the street and all that went with it,” he said.

Flashing a smile at Dan, he said: “I still remember Dan’s registered number — 16710.

“But the street got a bad name because there was about 12 pubs which sold drink cheaper than anywhere else in the city. And every scoundrel in the city made for Barrack St. But thankfully, nobody was seriously injured in all the scuffles.

“There was the odd theft and break-in, but no serious crime, and no murders in my time.”

He also recalled attending functions in UCC and special performances by the Barrack Street Band on Reed’s Place for the gardaí every year.

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