On Saturday, 28th June 2014, members of An Garda Síochána with retired colleagues walked in procession to St. John’s old cemetery at Nobber, Co. Meath. It was a very special procession to unveil a headstone over the unmarked grave of Garda Hugh Ward (5663) the 8th member of the force to die in the execution of duty. Hugh Ward was born at Cloughmacoo, Nobber, Co. Meath in 1897 and was the 5663rd member to join the Garda Síochána on the 27th February 1924. Two years later he was stationed at Hollyford in Co. Tipperary. At that time there was a number of conserted attacks carried-out on Garda Barracks countrywide. On the 14th November 1926, twenty-six year old, Garda Hugh Ward answered a knock on the front-door of Hollyford Garda Barracks. Outside a raider lifted his gun and shot Garda Ward, who died two days later from the injuries he received.
Garda Ward was buried in St John’s cemetery near his home place in Nobber. At the State Funeral, Garda Commissioner Eoin O’ Duffy, gave a graveside oration. The grave at St. John’s Cemetery remained unmarked until last Saturday when the Garda Síochána with the assistance of an active local committee (St. John’s Old Cemetery Restoration Group) gathered to ensure that the memory of Garda Hugh Ward lives forever.
Lest We Forget — Garda Sgt. James Fitzsimmons ( Reg. No. 2566) St. Lukes Garda Station, Cork City. At 6.30 pm on the same evening that Garda Ward was shot, 3 armed men entered St. Lukes Station. The Barrack Orderly knocked a revolver out of one raider’s hand and closed the station door. A shot was then fired through a panel in the door and hit Sgt. Fitzsimmons in the stomach. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but died on route. Aged only 30 years, he is still remembered by the Leeside.
May They Rest in Peace
Read the Irish Independent article by clicking —- HERE
The following photographs taken at the memorial ceremony are courtesy of Alan Dowly (AGSI):
- Chief Supt. Aidan Glacken (Meath Division) with Jackie Maguire (Meath Co. Manager) laying a wreath.
- Chief/Supt. Aidan Glacken, Al McHugh, Michael Finnegan, Jackie, Tony Hickey & Martin Callinan standing beside the newly erected headstone to Garda Hugh Ward (RIP).
- “The Last Post” is played by a Member of the Garda Síochána Band.
- Mick Finnegan expressing words of sincere appreciation to the local community. Clapping hands is Andy Reilly, Chairman of St. John’s Old Cemetery Restoration Group.
- Serving Gardai and retired colleagues walk with the local community to the cemetery.
- Noel McKenna (nephew of Garda Hugh Ward) conveys his family’s gratitude.