After 40 years of service, Carrigtwohill Sergeant Eamonn O’Connor was given a fine send-off into retirement recently with Junior Minister Dave Staunton, Deputy Lord Mayor Ian Doyle and Midleton Superintendent Colm Noonan as well as 270 members of the local community gathering to wish him well.
Sgt O’Connor, who is retiring on April 6 after almost 40 years with the force, said Carrigtwohill has a fantastic community and it was a pleasure to serve them.
Sgt O’Connor has been a member of An Garda Síochána since June 21, 1978, when he left the Garda College for Newcastlewest Station in Limerick.
His career brought him across the country to serve in Limerick, Sligo/Leitrim, Cork City and Cork North in Carrigtwohill for the past 15 years.
Speaking to the Evening Echo, Sgt O’Connor said policing in rural Ireland is all about communication, support and availability.
“Urban policing and rural policing are two different things. In the country you are part of the community, you have to be a good listener, it is not all about the law. You have to be able to listen, sometimes people just want someone to talk to.”
After almost four decades with the force, Sgt O'Connor plans to put his feet up and take it easy with friends and family for a while.
The soon-to-be-retired sergeant told the Evening Echo that he is heavily involved in Ladies Gaelic Football and serves on a sub-committee on the central council of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) in Croke Park.
Sgt O’Connor is also an officer in the Munster and Cork Ladies Football Association.
The sergeant commissioned a painting by a local artist, which he then presented to the local community as a symbol of the partnership and bond between the community and the well-liked sergeant.
“It was an honour and a privilege for me to serve such a lovely community. There is fantastic people living here.”
Superintendent Colm Noonan thanked Sgt O’Connor for his “distinguished and committed service” to the community and to the Gardaí and wished him well in retirement with his family.
“I hope their new adventure brings great happiness, relaxation and enjoyment to their lives.”