Thursday 22 March 2018

Retired garda sheds tears of joy as mystery of flag picture is solved

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

AN IMAGE of his father's beaming smile while on duty during John F Kennedy's historic visit here 50 years ago brought tears to the eyes of retired Garda Sergeant Gerry Towey.

The 75-year-old grandfather from Kilworth, Co Cork was stunned when a family friend urged him to pick up a copy of the Irish Independent's 'JFK Stories' supplement. Staring back at him was a never-seen-before photograph of his late father, Garda Martin Towey, who was then in his early 50s and working out of the Mountjoy garda station as a patrol car driver.

His father has now been dead more for more than 25 years, so seeing the black and white photograph was incredibly moving for him. "The first time we saw it was last week," said Mr Towey.

Martin was among hundreds of gardai drafted in from across the country. But his identity in the photo remained a mystery until last week after the family friend answered the Irish Independent's call to help us identify him.

Irish Independent

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