Garda Culture at its Very Best

This is what Gardai do best.

Protect all in our Society, very man woman, no matter what walk of life – even Politicians, those most critical of the culture of An Garda Siochana.  No great utterances from those detractors this morning, after the showpiece of Medal Awards at Garda College in Templemore yesterday. 

Gardaí killed in line of duty among medal honourees

A RECORD number of Scott medals presented at a single ceremony were awarded to gardaí in recognition of their courage and bravery.
Photos: Liam Burke / New gardaí Nicole McGovern, from Dowra, Co Cavan, and Róisín Byrne, from Myshall, Co Carlow.

Seventeen medals – seven gold, three silver and seven bronze – were awarded at the Garda College in Templemore yesterday.

The medals covered incidents dating back to a Provisional IRA explosion in 1976 when five gardaí were lured into an ambush at a booby-trapped derelict house.

Reflecting on what he called the heroic actions of gardaí, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said many would wonder at the source of their courage and determination to take whatever steps were required to face down criminals or to save a life, at great personal risk.

Five of the gold medals were awarded to gardaí who were caught in the IRA bomb at Garryhinch, 5km outside Mountmellick, Co

Laois, on October 16, 1976.

A gold medal was awarded posthumously to Garda Michael Clerkin, who entered the house through a window and felt the full impact of the blast as he opened the booby-trapped door to his colleagues.

Another gold medal was awarded posthumously to Garda Tony Golden, who was shot dead two years ago as he defended a young woman who had been attacked by her partner and was attempting to remove her belongings from her house.

His wife Nicola accepted the medal.

7 Responses to Garda Culture at its Very Best

  1. patrick joseph mc December 9, 2017 at 9:01 pm #

    Sadly the media coverage coverage was minimal to say the least . In relation to Laois/Offally it is so sad the way this matter was left in limbo for two generations , In fact there is a huge cohort of the population that have no idea of the brutality of the time and how the thin blue line along with army and prison service saved this country from anarchy . The mental anguish people that enforce the law are put through compounds the original wrong done by the foot soldier criminals. The only loser is the law abiding citizen .,Well done to all the brave people

  2. John Brennan December 10, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

    The many atrocities committed in the Republic during the 70s are being forgotten as the extremists try to rewrite history from their viewpoint. I was reared in a house near a bridge over the Blackwater river. The bridge was part of the national cordon of checkpoints and I remember Gardai on the bridge night and day in all weather whenever a bank robbery, shooting, prison escape took place. A neighnours house by the railway line was taken over by gunmen and a very sick man in the house was forced to lie on the floor for hours while an attempt was made to stop and rob a passing train. He died shortly after and the physical ordeal he was put through that night certainly contributed to his demise.
    The contribution by badly resourced Gardai to maintaining law and order and confronting the gunmen should never be forgotten

  3. timothy December 11, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

    The vast majority of of the population in this country are wholly supportive of the Guards. The force will always work to maintain that respect and confidence.

  4. Eugene December 11, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    Hard to understand why it took 41 years to get Scott medals to these men, Michael Clerkin was in my phase in Tmore. He was a nice chap. I know a Scoot Medal has to be earned, but it was a shame that these men were ignored for so long. Yes , the newspapers did not give this much mention, typical of the times we live in. The auld attitude, ” didn’t they know what the were signing up for “” , comes to mind.

  5. billysam December 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

    I agree with all the contributors to this post on how long it has taken to recognise the bravery of these members who literally walked into a booby trap set especially for them by “brave freedom fighters” whose apologists now want us to thank and reward them for walking away from “the armed struggle” by voting for their political successors on ballot papers. Whatever about the 41 year wait for the Scott Medal award it is pertinent at this time to think of the pain and suffering of these men since the atrocity in 1976 or even worse the loss of a loved one by the Clerkin family whose parents carried their suffering to their graves.

  6. John Brennan December 12, 2017 at 7:09 pm #

    There can be no doubt but that the Garryhinch bombing was a deliberate plot to murder Gardai and Irish Defence Force personnel. It is 130 miles to the border. There was no possibility that British Army or RUC would be in the area. Sinn Fein/IRA have never explained or apoligised for their murderous actions and years of condoning such atrocities

  7. noel December 12, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

    I too agree that it is an absolute scandal that these 4 members of our celebrated organisation had to wait 41 years to receive the Scott Medal for their bravery back in 1976, Has this been the fault of Garda Management or their Political Masters?. On that occasion the Garda cap of Jim Cannon one of those brave officers was found up on a tree adjoining the building that the young Guard Michael Clerkin was killed in. Indeed a photo of the same Jim Cannon appeared in the daily press many years later, remonstrating with Garret Fitzgerald that he should “look after the Guards”. It could be stated that Garret probably did not understand what he was talking about – oblivious to the woes experienced by members of our Force – which is still the case to day despite all the rhetoric being spewed out by the Media and Politicions. Noel Hynes, Naas Branch.

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