Death of former GRA general secretary
Published 04/07/2015 | 02:30
John Ferry, a former general secretary of the Garda Representative Association, has died at his home after a long illness.
Mr Ferry (71) was appointed general secretary following the retirement of the GRA founder - and leading light in the fight for garda advancement for 27 years - John 'Jackie' Marrinan, who died last May at the age of 81.
During his time as head of the GRA, Mr Ferry faced serious internal opposition, leading to the setting up of a rival representative association calling itself the Garda Federation.
Some 4,700 gardaí left the association at that time but most later returned after the internal disputes were mostly resolved.
Colleagues said John Ferry's single most important contribution to the advancement of garda pay and conditions was his successful campaign to have the many garda allowances included in salary for purposes of pensionability.
Mr Ferry was described as an at times abrasive negotiator who was frequently in dispute with management.
He was said to have been regarded as a particularly 'difficult' figure by the Department of Justice, which he finally persuaded to agree to the pensionability terms, which had significant benefits from the garda point of view.
A native of Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal, Mr Ferry began his service as a uniformed garda in Sligo and later transferred to plain clothes Special Branch duties.
Mr Ferry returned to live in Sligo following his 10 years as general secretary in January 1997.
He is survived by his wife Evelyn and their son John Jnr.
Mr Ferry's remains will repose at the Nazareth House Chapel in Sligo today from 11.30am.
The removal takes place at 1.30pm to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for Mass of Christian burial at 2pm.
Mr Ferry will be buried afterwards at Sligo Cemetery.
Mr Ferry's family have requested that the house remains strictly private.