Minister for Justice Helen McEntee today addressed the annual Garda Memorial Day ceremony at the Garda Síochána Memorial Garden in Dublin Castle.
The annual Garda Memorial Day is a significant day in the calendar year of An Garda Síochána and is dedicated to remembering all members of An Garda Síochána who have lost their lives in service of the State. The annual ecumenical service is followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the Garda Síochána Memorial Garden in Dublin Castle, culminating in the reading of the Roll of Honour.
Speaking at the event, Minister McEntee said:
"The death of each and every Garda member in the line of duty has been both a huge loss to their family and friends, but also to the wider communities in which they lived and worked, and whom they protected with such dedication.
"I want to acknowledge how difficult it can be to be the family member or friend of a Garda member. You live in the knowledge that your loved one may be put at personal risk when they go to work, and I want to thank you for supporting your family members, our Garda members, in the brave and selfless work that they do."
This year’s event was even more poignant given 2022 is the Centenary Year of An Garda Síochána and it was the first time in 2 years members of the public were able to attend, following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Minister McEntee also specifically mentioned Garda Henry Phelan, Garda Patrick Gerard Reynolds and Garda Adrian Donohue as we approach their one hundredth, fortieth and tenth anniversaries respectively:
"These men are but three of the 89 names on the Garda Roll of Honour. 89 lives that ended too soon. These Gardaí died in the service of the State, a sacrifice that we want to remember, that we must remember. As Minister for Justice, I want reiterate my sincere appreciation to the members of An Garda Síochána who work year-round to keep our country safe."
Garda Henry Phelan was the first member of the newly formed Civic Guards in 1922 to be killed in the line of duty. Garda Phelan joined An Garda Síochána in May 1922, aged just 21. He was shot and fatally wounded by armed men in November 1922.
The ceremony was streamed live through An Garda Síochána’s Facebook page for remote viewing by the families and relatives of the deceased members of An Garda Síochána who died in the service of the state together with the general public who were unable to attend the ceremony in person.