CORK’S “finest” joined forces with its bravest today after recruiting a six-year-old garda to join the ranks.
Cayden Dempsey suffers from a condition known as hypoplastic right heart syndrome, meaning he was born with only half a heart.
He has already endured three open-heart surgeries.
Cayden’s mum, Lynsey McCaul, nominated him to become an honourary garda for the day as part of the Little Blue heroes initiative.
The charity gives children with serious illnesses the chance to become honorary gardaí.
It also provides them with specially themed toys and opportunities to attend a tour of Garda headquarters.
While services had to be limited during pandemic times, gardaí are continuing to spread happiness to as many brave children as possible.
Garda Eddie Crockett from Midleton Garda Station and his colleague Pat Harrigngton from the Garda Dog Unit, Togher, pulled out all the stops for Cayden, who had been cocooning all through the previous lockdown.
Lynsey’s bravery did not go unnoticed either. During Cayden’s time cocooning, when he was restricted to his house and garden, she refused to give up hope.
“The good weather kept us going,” she said.
“Cayden was high risk so he couldn’t even be outside the front door. However, no matter how bad things got, we were able to look out our window and say ‘it’s a sunny day outside’.”
During this time, Cayden developed a passion for anything to do with An Garda Síochána.
It was his new passion that sparked Lynsey’s idea to nominate him for the Blue Heroes initiative.
“He was so excited when I told him that the gardaí were calling,” she said.
“I wasn’t sure what the neighbours were going to think, but it’s a bit of fun for them too.
“It’s been a tough few months so we’ve all been really looking forward to this.”
Cayden had a lot of questions after hearing about his nomination.
“He only started a few months ago and loves putting on the costume,” said Lynsey.
“His favourite part is the handcuffs. Cayden is constantly pretending to arrest people.
“When I told him that the gardaí were visiting he was asking if he would be going to see real prisoners.
“I told him that because of Covid this probably wouldn’t be possible!”
Even though the gardaí weren’t able to go into the house, Cayden was delighted to see them, and is excited to tell his schoolmates about his adventure.
“He only got a few months in junior infants as we took him out before the lockdown to make sure he is safe,” said Lynsey.
“He is back at school now. They have been fantastic and he is so looking forward to telling his classmates that he is now a garda. It’s nice to have a bit of happiness for a change.”
She praised An Garda Síochana for their kindness towards Cayden.
“Our life is all about making good memories so we are so grateful to the gardaí for taking time out of their busy schedules to do this for Cayden,” she said.