Monday 21 August 2017

Guards get their own behind-the-scenes book of evidence

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with photojournalist Mark Condren (centre) and his wife Michelle and sons Ben and Aaron at the launch of his book 'The Guards', at AIB HQ in Ballsbridge, Dublin
Taoiseach Enda Kenny with photojournalist Mark Condren (centre) and his wife Michelle and sons Ben and Aaron at the launch of his book 'The Guards', at AIB HQ in Ballsbridge, Dublin

THERE is now a " book of evidence" about the Garda Siochana which gives a stunning behind-the-scenes view of the force, Taoiseach Enda Kenny joked last night.

He paid tribute to the force at the official launch of the first-ever photographic portrait of gardai by a photojournalist.

"Never before has there been such a book about gardai," he said of 'The Guards -- Behind The Scenes With the Men and Women of An Garda Siochana' by Irish Independent photographer Mark Condren.

"Now there is a book of evidence," he told the crowd of more than 300 guests attending the launch in Dublin last night.

Mr Kenny said the collection of 150 photographs depicting the everyday lives and work of gardai is not only a tribute to their work, but also to the talents of Mr Condren (33), who self-published the glossy coffee-table book to raise funds for Temple Street Children's Hospital.

He also took a good-natured poke at the bailed-out bank AIB, which sponsored the event.

"Thank you for passing on the interest-rate reduction," he joked of the bank's initial refusal to pass on interest rate reductions by the European Central Bank earlier this month.

Mr Condren spent the past year devoting three or four nights a week to go on the graveyard shift with gardai from Dublin's Pearse Street station.

He was inspired by his father, Gda Sgt Larry Condren, on the day he retired from the local garda station at their hometown of Castletownroche, Co Cork.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will be given to the children's hospital where Mr Condren's son Ben (5), is undergoing treatment for diabetes.

Among the guests were Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and Deputy Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.

Allison Bray

Irish Independent

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