Garda history on display in Ardagh commemoration

Chief SuperIntendent Derek Smart (centre) with Limerick force members at the commemoration in Ardagh. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

GARDAÍ were on the march on Friday (October 20) in commemoration of the centenary of the first force members to be stationed in Ardagh.

In an colourful event organised by St Kieran’s Heritage Association, in partnership with Newcastle West-based Sergeant Dermot Cummins, uniformed members were joined by the Garda Band and the mounted division for the event and marched to the location of the first Garda station on Old Mill Road in Ardagh, just one field away from the location where the Ardagh Chalice was found.

Starting at the railway station, where the first Gardai would have arrived, the procession stopped on the way at various locations.

“We raised the tricolour in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the flag’s arrival and lowered it to honour the Gardaí who have served and those who have served and passed away. We also invited all relatives of Gardaí who served in Ardagh from 1923 to 1959, when the station burned down, to attend and all members who served from 1959 to date,” John O’Sullivan, chairperson of the Association, told the Limerick Post.

The procession also stopped to pay tribute at the statue of William Smith O’Brien, a landlord of Dromoland who supported Irish emancipation and became a member of Parliament for Limerick in 1835.

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Local historian, John Haugh, gave a talk on the history of the Gardaí in Ardagh.

After the march, there was a ceremonial presentation of medals to retired members of the force and the participants retired to the community centre where art works on a theme of Garda history was on display.