Thursday 17 October 2019

Jim McCumiskey was one of the very best

Hubert Murphy

Tributes have poured in for Ardee garda sergeant Jim McCumiskey who died suddenly last Wednesday, leaving his family, friends and garda colleagues numb with shock.

Regarded as one of the top officers in the county, he was involved in all the top level cases in recent times.

Jim, who passed away after collapsing on Wednesday, spent many years in Drogheda station, before moving to Ardee in 2016.

Shocked colleagues gathered with members of his family at the rear of Ardee station on Thursday where Fr John O'Leary delivered an emotional tribute during a ceremony to remember the local officer.

Addressing the gathering, Fr John O'Leary said that the force in Louth had its fair share of tragedies down the years and this was another one, the sudden loss of a colleague and a friend.

He said it was a 'sad privilege' to be at such an occasion, but said Jim's humour and wit would be remembered with affection.

A book of condolence was opened and a long line of garda colleagues stood united to sign it.

Garda Comiskey, an ex member of the army, served for 20 years in the district, almost half that time spent in Drogheda.

Jim started in Templemore in 1996 and his first station was Swords Garda station where he stayed from 1997 to 1999.

In 1999 Jim came to Drogheda District where he was he was attached to the uniform section. He joined the detective branch in Drogheda in 2006, where he remained until 2016.

He was then promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and transferred to Ardee District.

At Drogheda court on Friday, Judge John Coughlan led tributes to the popular garda, remarking that he had been in the Louth division since 1999 and was well-respected.

'He was before me in Dundalk court on Wednesday. From there he went to the golf course where he dropped dead,' Judge Coughlan said.

He added Sgt McCumiskey was hard-working, diligent and professional.

'My deepest sympathy to his wife and two children.'

Representing the Drogheda solicitors, Paddy Goodwin said Sgt McCumiskey was a man of great integrity and he had been dealing with him since 1999. 'He will be sadly missed.'

Barrister Irene Sands said Sgt McCumiskey was an asset in Drogheda, and she sent her condolences to his family.

Sympathy was also extended on the behalf of the probation service and courts service.

Superintendent Andrew Watters expressed his great appreciation for the kind words and support to the gardaí and his former colleague's family.

'He was a very professional man and will be missed by us.'

Supt Watters continued that Jim McCumiskey made a huge contribution to policing and was involved in every major and significant investigation in Co. Louth.

He added, ' Jim had a great ability to engage with people - both Garda colleagues and members of the public. He was a great family man also with a deep love of Liverpool FC. He had so much more to offer to An Garda Siochana and to his family and friends and his pleasant outgoing personality and enthusiasm will be sadly missed by all.

Sgt McCumiskey's funeral was on Saturday to to Saint Joseph's Redemptorist Church, Dundalk.

He was beloved husband of Finola and dear dad of Lauren and Oisín. Predeceased by his brother Ian, grandparents Tommy and Kathleen Mc Cumiskey and Barney and Kathleen O' Hare, mother and father in-law Bernadette and Mick Boyle. Jim is also sadly missed by his parents James and Betty, brothers Mark, Darren and Gavin, sisters Catriona and Helen, brothers and sisters in-law, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins, extended family relatives, wonderful friends, neighbours and his colleagues in An Garda Siochána.

Drogheda Independent