As another year draws to a close, I would like to extend my best wishes to the Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association and all our retired members for a happy and safe Christmas.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your many years of dedicated and committed service to An Garda Síochána and to the State, and for the continued support and assistance you provide to your serving colleagues and to the organisation.

Christmas can be a time of remembrance of good times and bad times.

Of the times we lost colleagues who served alongside us.

Of times of service, dedication and professionalism that embody the best virtues of Gardaí throughout our 101-year history.

In September, An Garda Síochána unveiled a newly refurbished monument of remembrance at Garda Headquarters in Phoenix Park to ensure that the memories of those colleagues who died in service would be commemorated.

We were very honoured to have Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D. Higgins officially open the Monument of Remembrance – the President’s presence was a reflection of the importance not only of individual Gardaí to Irish society, but the organisation as a whole.

We especially remember our retired friends and colleagues who have passed away in the last year. They will all be on our minds at Christmas and my thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and colleagues of all our dearly departed.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association for all their hard work and for the high level of commitment they give to our retired members. The Association is an invaluable resource for Gardaí both as they prepare for retirement and also for when they retire. It provides a vital link to colleagues and the organisation, and ensures those who have retired still remain connected and an active part of the wider Garda family.

I look forward to our continued partnership as we enter into a new year and wish you and yours a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Drew Harris