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Garda Commissioner Drew Harris salutes during the annual Garda Memorial Day to honour the 89 members of An Garda Siochana killed in the line of duty. Alamy Stock Photo
Dublin Castle

State ceremony takes place in Dublin to honour 89 gardaí who lost their lives in line of duty

A total of 89 officers have lost their lives while in working in the service of the State since the force was formed.

A CEREMONY HAS taken place in Dublin to commemorate all gardai members who have died in the line of duty.

A total of 89 officers have lost their lives while in working in the service of the State since the force was formed.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris were among those who addressed the annual ceremony, held in the Dubh Linn Gardens at Dublin Castle on Saturday.

During the event, Ms McEntee said recent years had seen new challenges emerge with a “tiny criminal minority” targeting the most vulnerable.

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Constable Jon Boutcher also attended the ceremony.

It began with the playing of the ministerial salute by the band of An Garda Síochána before Ms McEntee inspected the guard of honour. Following prayers, there was a wreath-laying ceremony.

Delivering her speech, Ms McEntee said the annual memorial day is consistently “one of the most moving events of the year”.

She added: “I take great pride in the work that our gardai do across this country.
“It is you, the men and women of An Garda Siochana who keep us safe from harm every single day.

“Today is an opportunity for us to remember and to recognise the selflessness and the bravery of those who are gone, the courageous members of An Garda Siochana who went to work one morning and tragically never came back having been killed in the line of duty.

“Two years ago, I had the privilege of speaking to you as we marked 100 years, the centenary of An Garda Siochana and I spoke that day of the long and the proud history of serving the public and your crucial role, An Garda Siochana, in protecting all of us, our societies and the freedoms which we cherish.”

people-attend-the-annual-garda-memorial-day-to-honour-the-89-members-of-an-garda-siochana-killed-in-the-line-of-duty-and-who-gave-their-lives-in-the-service-of-the-state-at-the-dubhlinn-gardens-dubl People, including relatives of the deceased gardaí attend the annual Garda Memorial Day. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

McEntee added: “In the two years since, the country has again seen many changes and, of course, new challenges have emerged.
“We have seen acts of violence and intimidation carried out by a tiny criminal minority.

“Violence and intimidation targeted first and foremost at the most vulnerable people in our society and we have once again seen An Garda Siochana meeting these challenges with courage, with honour and respect for the public at the core of everything that they do.”

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said the sacrifice of gardai who lost their lives had not been in vain.

He said: “Eighty-nine of our gardai made the ultimate sacrifice and for many who gather here today, you too paid that ultimate price.

“The death of any loved one cuts deep and leaves a wound that will never fully be healed.

“The fact that these 89 gave their lives in the service of the State makes this all the more difficult.

“But their sacrifice has not been in vain. They, through their actions and their work, kept people, communities and our country safe.

“On memorial day, we in An Garda Siochana, and the citizens of Ireland, get to pay tribute to these 89 honourable men.

“On this day, we are here for their families and those who grieve.

“We are your shoulder to lean on because your loss is also our loss.”

Author
Press Association