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Justice Minister praises 'brave and selfless work' of gardaí in Memorial Day address

This year’s event coincides with the Centenary Year of An Garda Síochána.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee with Commissioner Drew Harris at the Annual Garda Memorial Day.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee with Commissioner Drew Harris at the Annual Garda Memorial Day.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

THE MINISTER FOR Justice has paid tribute to the “brave and selfless work” of the gardaí in an address on Garda Memorial Day.

The annual ceremony is dedicated to remembering all members of An Garda Síochána who have lost their lives in service of the State.

Speaking at the event in the Garda Síochána Memorial Garden in Dublin Castle, Minister Helen McEntee said “the death of each and every Garda member in the line of duty has been both a huge loss to their family and friends, but also to the wider communities in which they lived and worked”.

This year’s event coincided with the Centenary Year of An Garda Síochána and it was the first time in two years that members of the public were able to attend, following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

Minister McEntee also paid tribute to the friends and family of garda members, commenting that they “live in the knowledge that your loved one may be put at personal risk when they go to work”.

The Justice Minister specifically mentioned Garda Henry Phelan, Garda Patrick Gerard Reynolds and Garda Adrian Donohue as it approaches the one hundredth, fortieth and tenth anniversaries of their respective deaths.

Garda Henry Phelan was the first member of the newly formed Civic Guards in 1922 to be killed in the line of duty.

Garda Phelan joined An Garda Síochána in May 1922, aged just 21, and was shot and fatally wounded by armed men in November 1922.

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Minister McEntee said: “These men are but three of the 89 names on the Garda Roll of Honour. 89 lives that ended too soon. These Gardaí died in the service of the State, a sacrifice that we want to remember, that we must remember.

“As Minister for Justice, I want reiterate my sincere appreciation to the members of An Garda Síochána who work year-round to keep our country safe.”

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