Never Off Duty

AT most weddings, the role of best man entails little more than keeping the rings safe before delivering a well-received speech after the Baked Alaska.

HITCHED: Garda Rogers was best man (centre behind bride) at Dermot Ryan and Sinead Leydon’s weddingBut Garda John Rogers learned that there is no such thing as being “off duty” as he celebrated his close friend tying the knot.

The officer was enjoying a drink outside Kehoe’s pub in Dublin city centre on Friday afternoon following the wedding ceremony of Dermot Ryan and Sinead Leyden at the Cardinal Newman church on St Stephen’s Green.

The bride and groom have deep political roots. Dermot is a member of Environment Commissioner Phil Hogan’s cabinet and previously advised Charlie McCreevy.

Sinead, meanwhile, is the daughter of the long-serving and respected Fianna Fail senator Terry Leyden and his wife, Mary.

Sinead is attached to Interpol in Brussels.

But as he enjoyed a chat with other wedding guests, Garda Rogers heard the cries of an American tourist who had her bag snatched just a few yards away.

“He stole my bag, he stole my bag,” witnesses said she screamed.

Decked out in his best blue suit, the officer — who is attached to the Garda Immigration Unit — set off on foot after the culprit. Garda Rogers tackled the thief to the ground outside Cafe En Seine on nearby Dawson Street and kept him pinned down.

A female garda arrived on the scene to assist her off-duty colleague, who told her: “It’s okay garda, I’m an off-duty member of An Garda Siochana, but I’m the best man at a wedding.”

The culprit was arrested and brought into custody.

According to witnesses, Garda Rogers returned the bag intact to the American tourist, who said he painted an example of a “wonderful police force”.

Inside at the nearby wedding reception, Garda Rogers — who is from Tipperary but lives in Naas — was praised for his heroic act. Senator Leyden told guests: “He was like Ronnie Delany — a bullet out of a gun. It was above and beyond the call of duty but a prime example of the dedication of An Garda Siochana. I’m commending Garda Rogers for a bravery award.”

Senator Leyden told guests he intends to contact Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan to inform her of the incident.

Garda Rogers returned to his best man duties with aplomb and gave “a cracker” of a best man speech, one guest said.

4 Responses to Never Off Duty

  1. patrick joseph mc July 25, 2016 at 8:18 am #

    Contrast the actions of Citizen John Rodgers with the actions and the utterances of certain people attending Mc Gill Summer School and their media coverage of what they see wrong with the gardai. The victim of the crime a Welcome American Tourist saw the culprit apprehended without any persons life being endangered by firearms in contrast to her Native Place. Senator Leyden should consider writing to the people so vocal at the Summer School As a Roscommon person he should be well aware of the members of the the Garda Siochana that paid the ultimate price for upholding the ideals of the Garda Siochana and John Rodgers acted with the best interests of the State at hearth without considering himself if things had gone wrong.

  2. timothy July 25, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

    The police instincts of John came to the fore here supporting this tourist under attack. The Gardai do great work every day up and down the country in support of their communities which by and large is taken for granted.

  3. Eugene July 27, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Quite obviously John is a good Policeman. He was not afraid to take on a criminal, even when he was best mam. It would have been easy for him to never hear that voice crying in the wilderness, but no, he heard and acted as any decent Garda would. There were very few to commend him there, only the Injured Party and all the wedding guests. I am surprised that someone didn’t take a photo and accuse him of harassment. An act like that should give the Gardai in general a great boost, and needs to be highlighted all the way. Well done again John.

  4. John Brennan July 29, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    I recall John when he arrived on transfer to Crumlin. He was a great addition to the unit and was one of those people that everyone enjoyed working with. He interacted very well with the local people and was always helpful to anyone needing assistance. I haven’t seen him for a number of years so it was great to read the report and see that he is as active and vigilant as ever. He is not a man that seeks accolades but his response on the day was top class. As another poster said it was typical of many of the unheard of acts performed everyday by Gardai. Well done John and hope that ye have a big day on the first Sunday of September!

Leave a Reply

Designed By