SERVING and retired members of An Garda Síochána took part in a commemorative event in Cork marking the 100th anniversary of the force in the Midleton District.
The ceremony included a service at St Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh, followed by an inter-agency parade through the town to Cobh Garda Station via Harbour Row, East Beach and Kennedy Pier, where on November 11, 1922 the first gardaí arrived by boat from Cork city where they had been brought in by boat from Dublin on November 9.
A wreath was laid by family members of former gardaí at Westbourne Place, the site of the first garda station before the parade continued to the current garda station in the town where there was memorabilia and the unveiling of a plaque.
In attendance on the day were retired Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy and current Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster, as well as family members of the first gardaí to arrive by boat to Cobh in 1922.
Speaking to The Echo, Inspector Roisin O'Dea of the Midleton District said that the first gardaí to arrive in Cobh were “very much welcomed by the public at the time and An Garda Síochána became very much part of the public fabric there”.
She said that the parade saw many different agencies involved in marking the important day for An Garda Síochána.
“The parade included the Garda band, serving and retiring members of An Garda Siochána, the HSE, the National Ambulance Service, the Red Cross, the Defence Forces and the Naval Service. It was an inter-agency effort.
“We worked so much hand in glove with them throughout the last 100 years and going forward as well it’s about working with them to give the best service we can to the public,” Inspector O’Dea said.
She said that the day was of particular importance for women of the force, with the female recruits selected to join An Garda Síochána.
“The force was formed in 1922, women didn’t come in until 1959 and it’s nice now to see the progression. Our deputy commissioners are ladies, Anne Marie McMahon and Shawna Coxon, and the Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster is from Cobh itself and she’s newly appointed and she’s leading us into our second century of policing,” Inspector O’Dea said.