Gardaí commemorate arrival of Civic Guard into Cork in 1922

Gardaí commemorate arrival of Civic Guard into Cork in 1922

The Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in 1922, arriving outside Anglesea Street garda station. Picture Denis Minihane.

COMMEMORATIONS to mark the centenary of An Garda Síochána began this afternoon with members of the force arriving at Kennedy Quay on board the LE James Joyce.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Eileen Foster led 16 gardaí, representing all ranks, down to the quay, re-enacting the arrival by boat in Cork, 100 years ago, of the first contingent of the Civic Guard.

Marjorie Moran, Conductor, pictured leading the Garda Choir, at Cork City Hall, where Cork City Council marked the 100th Anniversary of An Garda Síochána service in Cork City with a civic reception held on 9 November 2022. The evening's event was attended by Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster, Chief Superintendent Tom Myers, Superintendent John Deasy and Inspector James Hallahan. Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO
Marjorie Moran, Conductor, pictured leading the Garda Choir, at Cork City Hall, where Cork City Council marked the 100th Anniversary of An Garda Síochána service in Cork City with a civic reception held on 9 November 2022. The evening's event was attended by Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster, Chief Superintendent Tom Myers, Superintendent John Deasy and Inspector James Hallahan. Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

Those first guards had been forced to travel by water as anti-Treaty IRA had destroyed several rail bridges along the route to Cork, and they arrived in dangerous and uncertain times.

On the quay this afternoon was Garda Tom Daly, wearing a replica of the formal dress uniform unique to Cork and worn by gardaí here between 1926 and 1954.

Looking down to the front of Anglesea Street garda station during the unveiling of a plaque in memory of the six deceased members from Cork city who died in the line of duty. The unveiling took place at the end of the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork, in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.
Looking down to the front of Anglesea Street garda station during the unveiling of a plaque in memory of the six deceased members from Cork city who died in the line of duty. The unveiling took place at the end of the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork, in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.

There was warm applause as a centenary parade made up of the Garda Band, the Garda Ceremonial Unit, the Garda Mounted Unit, members of An Garda Síochána, garda staff, and retired members of An Garda Síochána then marched up the quay toward the city.

Gardaí arriving at Kennedy Quay, Cork, on the LE James Joyce prior to taking part in the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork in 1922.Picture Denis Minihane.
Gardaí arriving at Kennedy Quay, Cork, on the LE James Joyce prior to taking part in the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork in 1922.Picture Denis Minihane.

In the crowd was Mary McLean, from Ballincollig, whose father Charles McCarthy had been a founding member of what was then the Civic Guard, initially posted to the Midlands and later serving in Dublin, Cork, and Wicklow.

Ms McLean told The Echo it was a very emotional day for her.

Mary McLean, whose late father Charles McCarthy was a founder member of the Civic Guard in 1922, pictured at the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.
Mary McLean, whose late father Charles McCarthy was a founder member of the Civic Guard in 1922, pictured at the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.

“I’m fighting back the tears, thinking about my father and all of those young men who were the first guards,” she said.

“They were phenomenal men, and they did this country proud, and the men and women who serve today do too, day in, day out.”

The parade made its way to Union Quay, where a plaque was unveiled by Assistant Commissioner Foster, marking the first location of the Civic Guard in Cork City in 1922.

The first contingent of the Civic Guard to arrive in Cork had to be billeted at the School of Music, because the former RIC barracks on Union Quay had been burnt out by anti-Treaty IRA forces.

Gardaí disembarking the LE James Joyce at Kennedy Quay led by Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster prior to taking part in the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.
Gardaí disembarking the LE James Joyce at Kennedy Quay led by Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster prior to taking part in the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, in Cork in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.

The parade then continued on to Anglesea St Garda Station, where a plaque to the memory of the six Cork gardaí who lost their lives in the line of duty was unveiled by Superintendent John Deasy.

The ‘Last Post’ was played to the memory of the six fallen gardaí, and the ceremony concluded with the national anthem.

Among the honoured guests at the unveiling were Mary Doody and her daughter Carmel. Mary’s husband, 28-year-old Garda James Doody, died in the early hours of January 7, 1973, when the Garda car in which he was a passenger collided with another car at the junction of Glasheen Rd and Wilton Rd. The youngest of James and Mary’s four children, Carmel, was only 11 weeks old.

Garda Linda O'Donnell with the Irish flag at the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, passing along Union Quay, Cork, in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.
Garda Linda O'Donnell with the Irish flag at the Centenary parade in Cork marking the arrival of the Civic Guard, later called An Garda Síochána, passing along Union Quay, Cork, in 1922. Picture Denis Minihane.

Also among the guests was Eilish Rice, whose husband Garda George Rice, aged 44, died alongside his colleague, Garda Seamus McIntyre, aged 29, in the early hours of Sunday, April 22, 2001, when their patrol car collided with another vehicle.

Assistant Commissioner Foster told The Echo that today was a proud day for An Garda Síochána.

“In 1922, the 60 guards that came to Cork weren’t sure what they were facing, and as we were getting off the boat today, I just thought how times have changed,” said Assistant Commissioner Foster.

“It’s just wonderful to see so many people out watching us passing by, it’s very emotional for members of An Garda Síochána, and recognising the people we’ve lost is very poignant.”

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde, pictured with Assistant Chief Executive of Cork City Council, Brian Geaney, Chief Superintendent Tom Myers, Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster, and Back Row: Superintendent John Deasy, Inspector James Hallahan, and Director of Services at Cork City Council, Paul Moynihan, at Cork City Hall, where Cork City Council marked the 100th Anniversary of An Garda Síochána service in Cork City with a civic reception held on 9 November 2022.Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Deirdre Forde, pictured with Assistant Chief Executive of Cork City Council, Brian Geaney, Chief Superintendent Tom Myers, Assistant Commissioner Eileen Foster, and Back Row: Superintendent John Deasy, Inspector James Hallahan, and Director of Services at Cork City Council, Paul Moynihan, at Cork City Hall, where Cork City Council marked the 100th Anniversary of An Garda Síochána service in Cork City with a civic reception held on 9 November 2022.Picture: Michael O'Sullivan /OSM PHOTO

Chief Superintendent Tom Myers quoted the first commissioner, Michael Staines, who had said, “the Garda Síochána will succeed not by force of arms or numbers, but on their moral authority as servants of the people”.

“That vision has served us well for a century, and I hope it does for another century,” said Chief Supt Myers.

After the unveiling of the plaque at Anglesea St Garda Station, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Deirdre Forde, welcomed members of An Garda Síochána to Cork City Hall for a civic reception.

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