Ireland's youngest gardaí meet their hero CJ Stander during special surprise at Shannon Airport
The country’s youngest gardaí were treated to a special surprise during an inspection of Shannon Airport’s VIP room.
On Tuesday, Ceejay McArdle (4), from Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, and Jordan Perez (8), from Sixmilebridge, were delighted to meet Munster and Ireland rugby player CJ Stander at the airport.
Ceejay, who is undergoing treatment for leukaemia, became the youngest ever member of An Garda Síochána last year.
He was joined by Jordan, who has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair, as they carried out security checks for the day with Chief Superintendent John Kerin and Superintendent Brendan McDonagh.
The event was organised as part of the ongoing community initiative by the Garda Relations Bureau (GRB).
Speaking about his visit, CJ Stander said: “I’ve been through Shannon many times. But this is one of the days I have enjoyed the most as these are two fantastic and brave young boys.
“They put a smile on my face certainly and I was delighted to meet them. You could meet just about anyone out here but I’m not sure I could have met any better than Ceejay and Jordan.”
As well as getting the chance to chat with their hero, the boys flew into Shannon on the Department of Marine’s search and rescue helicopter, and received a special water cannon salute from the Airport Police Fire Service.
After a tour of the fire station, the boys had lunch with their families and took out a tour of Shannon Garda Station.
While they were put to work handing out high visibility safety goods to motorists at a checkpoint, Ceejay and Jordan enjoyed tours of the Atlantic AirVenture Aviation Museum and Centre, as well as complimentary VIP passes to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
“We’ve a lot of great members of the force but it’s fair to say that Ceejay and Jordan are right up there with the best,” said Garda Sergeant Ann-Marie Starr, who organised their itinerary for the day.