Monday 23 October 2017

Death of former GRA general secretary John Ferry

Jim Cusack

Jim Cusack

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 in May this year 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 gardai left but most 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 who 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 will repose at the Nazareth House Chapel tomorrow, Saturday, from 11.30am with removal 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. The family have requested that the house remains strictly private.

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