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Thursday 8 December 2016

Gardai ready to retire together after 30 years 'married to the job'

Kevin Keane and Patsy McArdle

Published 03/11/2011 | 05:00

Valerie and Anthony Campion enjoy a cup of tea as they look forward to their retirement next week
Valerie and Anthony Campion enjoy a cup of tea as they look forward to their retirement next week
Anthony Campion and his wife Valerie outside Carrickmacross station

TWO gardai who met on their first day of training 30 years ago are about to retire together.

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Apart from working in the same station for 21 years, they have another common bond -- they are married to one another.

Anthony and Valerie Campion were placed in the same class of 25 recruits in the Garda College in Templemore back in 1981.

"It was a very small class so we were all very friendly and got to know each other," Valerie said.

But despite an almost immediate friendship, she said it wasn't until they were both posted to Dublin that a romance began.

"At first I was assigned to Harcourt Terrace in Dublin, where I spent two years, and Valerie was also initially stationed at Donnybrook in the city," Anthony explained.

After a number of moves to different parts of the country, he was transferred to Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, where his then girlfriend was already working, and the couple were married in 1986.

Valerie admits that the life of a garda -- with long days and unsocial hours -- has been difficult at times, especially when their two children Grainne (20) and Brian (17) were younger.

"It's part of the career, but I am sure lots of others like nurses are the same, you just get on with it and get used to it."

The Campions retire on November 11 -- the same day as President Mary McAleese.

Irish Independent

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