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Callinan attends memorial in first public function since he left force

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Martin Callinan speaks to Andy Reilly, who was part of the committee who organised the memorial to Garda Hugh Ward

Martin Callinan speaks to Andy Reilly, who was part of the committee who organised the memorial to Garda Hugh Ward

At the grave of Garda Hugh Ward were, from left, Aidan Glackin, Al McHugh, Mick Finnegan, Jackie Maguire, Tony Hickey and Martin Callinan.

At the grave of Garda Hugh Ward were, from left, Aidan Glackin, Al McHugh, Mick Finnegan, Jackie Maguire, Tony Hickey and Martin Callinan.

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Martin Callinan speaks to Andy Reilly, who was part of the committee who organised the memorial to Garda Hugh Ward

FORMER Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has made his first public appearance since he left the force to mark the grave of a forgotten hero buried with full military honours after he was killed on duty 90 years ago.

A headstone, funded by An Garda Siochana, now shows the resting place of Garda Hugh Ward, who lay in an unmarked grave in Nobber, Co Meath, since he was given a graveside oration by the then-Garda Commissioner Eoin O'Duffy in 1926.

Mr Callinan and former assistant commissioners Al McHugh and Tony Hickey were among those who travelled to the unveiling of the memorial.

It is the first time Mr Callinan has made a public appearance at an event since resigning from his post in March in the wake of the penalty points scandal.

Garda Ward's overgrown grave was re-discovered 10 years ago by the St John's Cemetery Committee which began a campaign to give the fallen garda a proper memorial.

Garda Ward, who served in Hollyford, Co Tipperary, was one of two gardai killed in attacks on 10 stations in the south of the country by armed gangs on November 14, 1926.

The son of a small farmer in Nobber, Garda Ward was based in Roscommon and Cork before being stationed in Hollyford.

Last Saturday about 300 people, including relations of Garda Ward and members of the cemetery committee, attended a special ceremony to unveil the headstone following a blessing by Fr Seamus Houlihan.

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