IT will be remembered as the season of farewell parties, a time when staff at Millstreet Garda Station said goodbye to two long serving colleagues.
Sergeant Gerry Carmody departed on June 6 while last week Garda Eddie Grimes was honoured by family, friends and fellow Garda personnel at a party in Corkery's Bar to celebrate his retirement.
Eddie, from Listowel, joined the Gardai in 1981, moving to Millstreet in 1985 and returning in 1995 after serving a year with the UN in Yugoslavia during the war in Bosnia. A gifted sportsman, having played Gaelic football and soccer, he hopes to get his golf handicap up to 16 and do some more travelling now he has more time.
Sergeant Paul O'Donovan wished Eddie all the best from his fellow workers, saying "I found Eddie to be a Garda of very high integrity, very diligent; he wore the Garda uniform with great pride. He developed a profound knowledge of the people in the area over the years. A local said to me lately "Eddie never bothered anyone who didn't need bothering."
Inspector Declan O'Sullivan of Kanturk Garda District remarked that "before the buzzwords of community policing were brought in, Eddie epitomised the concept ... your style of policing is something we should all aspire to."
Councillor Noel Buckley, presenting Eddie with a gift on behalf of the Millstreet community, recounted how, in March 1985, Eddie arrived in the town driving a Fiat Ritmo, and how locals later remarked that if there had been an NCT test at the time the Ritmo would definitely have gone downhill. Noel wished Eddie good luck in the future and emphasised how popular he was, and how he had made many good friends in the area.
Garda David Woods presented Eddie with a voucher from the Kanturk and District Social Club while Garda Dick McCarthy made another presentation on behalf of the Garda Representative Association.
As Eddie took the microphone it became evident that he could easily make his living as a stand up comedian as he proceeded to bring the house down with his take on various amusing incidents which had occurred during his career as a Garda.
Having requested a transfer from Kevin St in 1984, he was dubious about relocating to Cork, telling colleagues 'sure, that Cork crowd are mad". However, he settled in so well he remained for a very happy 26 years.
Concluding, Eddie declared that while there were many sad occasions, all poart of the job, there were also many happy ones. "And if one had to be dropped anywhere on this planet and landed in Millstreet, what a place to be."