Limerick man is at peace with new role

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Brian McDermott receiving his Peace Commissioner's certificate from Deputy Willie O'Dea.

IT DOESN’T carry a salary or even voluntary contributions. The holder of the title must be available at strange hours and on days of rest. Still, Brian McDermott is delighted to work for nothing but the greater good.

Brian, from Dooradoyle, is a newly appointed Peace Commissioner and says he is “honoured and chuffed” to have been nominated by Limerick Deputy Willie O’Dea and to have subsequently been offered the role.

Having retired after a long career with Analog Devices, Brian felt there was something he could do to be of help in the community.

An ardent supporter of Deputy O’Dea and a political activist himself, Brian has always been interested in legal matters. He is also a former petty officer of the Naval reserve, where he served for 12 years before being honourably discharged.

“This is a completely voluntary post because a Peace Commissioner has to be impartial,” he told the Limerick Post.

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“People want to offer money or give something in return, but a Commissioner cannot accept anything.”

His role involves any kind of witnessing or signing of documents, and he also assists the Gardaí carrying out their duties by signing summonses when necessary.

“To hold the post, you have to be nominated and cleared through vetting and there has to be an opening – a need for that service – where you live.”

Brian’s role is to take statutory declarations, witness signatures on documents if required by various authorities, and sign certificates and orders under various legal acts. 

“I don’t offer any kind of legal advice or get involved in any kind of legal argument. The Peace Commissioner’s role is not about that,” he said.

As to how someone who needs a passport form or an affidavit signed can get hold of him, Brian is very happy to have his phone number – 087 6577023 – in the public arena.

But while he tries to make himself as valuable as possible to the community, Brian asks that people ring and arrange to meet him rather than just show up on his doorstep.