Monday 18 December 2017

Great catch for gardai as rare photographs are released

Fiona Ellis

FROM a ton of stolen salmon, to violent murder scenes, this rare collection of photographs gives an insight into the beginnings of An Garda Siochana.

The pictures, on loan from An Garda Siochana Historical Society, document the first 20 years of the force, and went on exhibition yesterday.

The pictures of the burgeoning police force date from 1925 to 1943 but also include earlier photographs of members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary.

The most striking of all the pictures in the collection is the snap of the discovery of a huge collection of salmon.

The picture shows 12 suited gardai posing with what looks like hundreds of fish that they discovered in an abandoned house in Blackrock, Co Cork, in 1927.


The fish were packed in boxes and preserved with ice when they were found. They weighed almost a ton, averaging about 16lbs each.

Another little-known fact is that the gardai had a boxing team that competed in the Olympics.

One photograph shows members of the team in Paris as they prepared to represent Ireland at the 1928 games.

Many gardai were keen sportsmen and another grainy image shows members of the force racing each other on bicycles during a garda sports day in Lansdowne Road in 1931.

The full collection includes crime scenes, murder scenes and crashes.

The collection is on display in The James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway until May 6.

Irish Independent

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