Sunday 26 May 2019

Drogheda freedom for slain Garda Morrissey

Posthumous award 28 years after murder

Sgt Patrick Morrissey, murdered near Tallanstown.
Sgt Patrick Morrissey, murdered near Tallanstown.

Hubert Murphy

MURDERED garda Patrick Morrissey is to be awarded the posthumous Freedom of Drogheda 28 years after he was gunned down in the line of duty.

His family will be at the ceremony, expected to take place at The Tholsel in March.

He will be the first person in the history of the award to receive it posthumously. Former recipients include President Mary Robinson, Cardinal Daly, President Dr Patrick J Hillary, Pope John Paul II and Rev Mother Mary Martin.

'The award comes at a very poignant time for the Garda Siochana with the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe just a few weeks ago,' Mayor Paul Bell stated.

It is hoped that the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan will attend the ceremony.

Drogheda resident, Sgt Patrick Morrissey (49) was the garda sergeant in Collon and was at Ardee courthouse for a sitting of the local court on June 27th 1985 when he was told about a raid at the employment exchange in Ardee.

Michael McHugh from Crossmaglen and Noel Callan from Monaghan had entered the exchange that morning, wearing balaclavas and carrying guns.They fled, but close to Rathbrist House at Tallanstown, the pair were forced to abandon their vehicle and fled on foot into the grounds of the house. Sgt Patrick Morrissey followed them, even though he was unarmed, and was subsequently shot dead.

'Since I was elected as Mayor in June 2012 I immediately set about clarifying from the Department of Environment Community and Local Government if it would be possible to nominate a deceased citizen for the award and having confirmed that it was indeed possible, I contacted Garda Superintendent Gerry Smith who put the motion in operation with Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and I received confirmation in December that the Gardai would very much welcome the award in recognition of their fallen comrade,' the mayor stated.

Mayor Bell said he had spoken to the family of Garda Morrissey and they expressed that they would be deeply honoured to have their husband and father remembered by the people of Drogheda for his sacrifice in the course of performing his duty in defence of the public.

The motion will go to the next meeting of Drogheda Borough Council to seek formal approval.

Drogheda Independent