By Noel Dundon
Four Tipperary Gardai were among the 126 who graduated from the Garda Training College, Templemore on Thursday afternoon last in the presence of Defence Minister Slan Shatter - on his first visit to the College, Commissioner Martin Callanan, family members and friends.
The gala event, one of the highlights of the Garda College year, was attended by hundreds who came to the Cardens Town to enjoy the celebrations and fete the coming of age of the graduates - the final bunch of recruits to An Garda Siochana for the forseeable future.
As always the Garda Band, under the Baton of Superintendent Meyler, was on hand to provide entertainment and play the marches for the graduates who demonstrated their drills on the College Square to warm applause. This is one of the main events of graduation day but sadly the God’s didn’t smile in terms of weather and the heavy showers which punctuated the occsasion, caused some distress to guests. However, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the Gardai who enjoyed their special day.
Minister Shatter congratulated the new Gardai on completing the very challenging and testing course in the Garda College. “Can I start by thanking the Commissioner for his kind invitation to speak to you today as you graduate from the Garda College. This is a very special day for you, the culmination of so much training and hard work. It must also be such a proud day for everyone who is here to support you and share this occasion with you. So I am really delighted to have this chance to say a few words to you. I would also like to add my welcome to the Children from Chernobyl who are visiting the college today. I very much hope that they are enjoying their stay in Ireland, and I think that a huge debt of thanks is owed to the organisations in Ireland who have provided so much support for children from that region over the last 25 years. Can I also express my appreciation for the staff at this wonderful college, which is truly among the leading police colleges in Europe. They have worked with you so closely on what is a very demanding training course.Their dedication, allied to your commitment and ability, have made this day possible,” Minister Shatter said, who reassured everyone that there is no question of the Garda Training College closing.
Commissioner Martin Callanan also congratulated the graduates and their families and told them that they are now ready to take a place in Irish society as competent members of it’s police force.
However, the encouraged he new Gardai to embrace and engage with their new local communities through sporting, social and other voluntary activities in a bid to forge vital strong links with the people.
The Commissioners Medal, awarded to the student achieving the highest aggregate marks in academic subjects stayted in Tipperary having been won by Garda Laura Egan a native of Terryglass, County Tipperary, and who will be stationed at Henry Street Garda Station.
Educated in Borrisokane Community College where she sat her Levaing Cert in 2002, Garda Egan attended Waterford Institute of Technology in 2006 where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Architectural technology in 2006. She worked in this area before joining An Garda Siochana. She was stationed in Roxboro Garda Station, Limerick in Phase 11 of her Education/Training and at Henry Street Station Limerick on Phase 1V where she demonstrated a high level of professional competence and proven ability in dealing with a variety of policing tasks. In her spare time she enjoys watersports, walking, music and reading.
Garda Michael Baugh a native of Virginia, Co Cavan, was awarded the Gary Sheehan Memorial Medal, commemorating a Recruit Garda who was killed on duty in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, in December, 1983. This prize is awarded to the best all-round student. Garda Baugh will be attached to Drogheda Garda Station.
The Templemore Town Council Medal for outstanding achievement and appreciation in the area of Social Science Studies, was presented to Garda Stephen Fahey, a native of Sligo, and who will be stationed at Santry Garda Station, Dublin.
The Commissioner also awarded 2 Silver Scott Medals and 10 Bronxe Scott Medals to members of An Garda Síochána who have shown exceptional courage and heroism involving risk to life in the execution of duty.
“I am also very pleased to see the recipients of the Scott medals here today. It is absolutely right that these Garda members should have their bravery publicly acknowledged, and their courage and commitment to duty is a wonderful reminder to every member graduating today of the best traditions of the Garda Síochána,” MInister Shatter said.
The Tipperary Gardai who graduated were:
Garda Alan Power from Clonmel who will be stationed in Store Street.
Garda Fiona Gleeson from Holycross who will be stationed in Swords.
Garda Laura Egan from Terryglass who will be stationed in Henry Street.
Garda Ciaran Young from Rathcabbin who will be stationed in Roxboro Road.
Also graduated was Garda Claire Gosgrave, Pallasgreen who is stationed in Thurles.