Cowen pays tribute to killed gardaí

Taoiseach Brian Cowen today paid tribute to the 83 gardaí killed on duty as he opened a memorial garden in their honour.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen today paid tribute to the 83 gardaí killed on duty as he opened a memorial garden in their honour.

Medals were presented to a representative from the family of each of the officers during the poignant service in Dubhlinn Gardens at Dublin Castle.

Mr Cowen said: “Too often, their courage and dedication has seen members lay down their lives in the service of their fellow Irish men and women.

“For the families and friends of those who have lost their lives in service with An Garda Siochana, nothing we do or say will abate their loss or diminish their pain. We know that.

“But what we can say – and have a duty to say – is how much their sacrifice means to us too.

“This garden of memorial helps us to do that. It commemorates lives which ended as suddenly as a tree felled in its prime.”

The names of the members who died in the service of the state appeared on the roll of honour and are inscribed in stone in the garden.

A specially commissioned glass sculpture commemorates the sacrifice of the families left behind while a stone piece is a lasting tribute to all deceased members of An Garda Siochana, the Royal Irish Constabulary and Dublin Metropolitan Police.

Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and Justice Minister Dermot Ahern attended the ceremony.

Mr Cowen said the grief of husbands, wives, children, parents, sisters and brothers is a testament to their love for the ones they have lost.

“This garden, and the roll of honour, stands as a small reminder that the whole community also gives thanks for all members of An Garda Siochana who gave their lives serving us, the citizens of this country,” he added.

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