Monday, (3rd April) marked the 47th anniversary of the death of Garda Richard Fallon (09936). The script hereunder from “An Garda Síochána & the Scott Medal” by Gerard O’ Brien will remind many retired colleagues of that very sad occasion. The Garda Síochána Retired Members’ Association (GSRMA) also remembers Garda Paul Firth, who died a number of year later. May they Rest in Peace.
Richard Fallon, born 18 December 1926 at Moneen, Kilrooskey, Co. Roscommon, left farming for a career in the Gardai on 5 November, 1947. Paul Firth, formerly a soil sampler, born at Tulla, Ennis, County Clare, on 26 June 1946, joined the Force on 22 September 1965.
On the morning of 3 April 1970 three armed men entered the Royal Bank of Ireland on Dublin’s Arran Quay and indicated aggressively to the staff and the few customers present that their motive was robbery. They had taken what they believed to be the precautions of cutting off the bank’s telephone wires, not realizing that by doing so they had triggered an alert which led to the speedy arrival of a Garda mobile patrol outside the bank. The two uniformed unarmed Gardai who alighted from the car, Richard Fallon and Paul Firth, approached the building just in time to confront the robbers near the entrance. As the Guards moved determinedly towards them all three of the raiders fired repeatedly at them. Garda Firth, who was behind Garda Fallon, called back to the patrol car driver to summon assistance before he dived to the ground. As he reached out to seize the gunman nearest to him Garda Fallon was hit by fire from one of the others and fell mortally wounded. He had been shot twice, in the shoulder and, fatally in the neck. He died instantly. The robbers ran to their getaway car and fled the scene. Garda Fallon, married with five young children, was the first Garda to be shot dead on duty in 28 years. He was awarded posthumously the Scott Gold Medal. Garda Firth. Also in the line of fire that day, received the Scott Silver Medal. Paul Firth continued to serve in the Dublin area, but died, sadly, at the aged of 45 on 16 August 1991 while still in service
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Our thanks to Frank Cullinane for his comment below, reminding us of the Patrol-Car Driver (Gda. Pat Hunter) who witnessed the murder of a dear colleague and subsequently had to bear the trauma over the years. We are pleased to confirm that Pat Hunter is a member of the GSRMA Dublin North Branch.