Tuesday 20 November 2018

Loss of former superintendent Peter Finn (66)

Deborah Coleman

There was sadness right across Wexford as news broke of the passing of former Garda superintendent Peter Finn (66) of Knockgreaney, Coolgreany, following illness.

A native of Castlegregory, Co. Kerry, Peter was known to many for his years of service in the Garda Síochána and was extremely highly thought of in North Wexford. He retired in 2011 having served six years in the role of superintendent at Enniscorthy Garda Station. He also served in Gorey Garda Station where he was put in charge of the traffic corps before being promoted to the role of superintendent.

The beloved husband of Alice and father of Declan, Brian and Tommy, was a serving garda for almost four decades, having passed out in 1972 and retired in 2011.

In his younger days, Peter joined the Defence Forces having finished his education in the Vocational School in Tralee.

He joined the Air Corps at the age of 16 as an apprentice aircraft mechanic and was based in Baldonnell in Dublin for five years.

These were happy times for Peter where in his spare time he availed of the excellent local sports facilities and indulged his love of football.

It was during the subsequent time when he and his colleagues were called up to protect vital pieces of national infrastructure during the Troubles that Peter turned his attentions to studying for his Garda exams.

The long hours on guard facilitated this and he passed out in 1972, four months after entering the training college in Templemore.

At the age of 21, Peter was stationed in Arklow, the town where he would ultimately spend over half of his Garda career.

Things were much different in those early days than today and while the patrol car was shared with Gorey Garda Station, Peter had the use of a motorcycle and bicycle if required.

Peter immersed himself in community life and joined the Arklow Rocks, eventually playing on the football team which won the Kavanagh Cup in 1973.

It was in Smith's Garage in Coolgreany, where the patrol car was fuelled, that Peter met his wife to be Alice. They married when he was 23 and settled in Coolgreany to raise their three sons.

He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1986 and was stationed in Tullow before returning to Arklow eight months later.

In 1996 he was again promoted, this time to inspector and was dispatched to Bray for a year.

From there, it was a move nearer to home in Gorey, where Peter was put in charge of the traffic corps and in 2005, Peter moved stations once again to Enniscorthy, this time as superintendent where he remained until his retirement six years ago.

At the time of his retirement, Peter said that he was looking forward to spending more time farming, once his Garda duties had concluded.

He also spoke of the many firm friendships he had made throughout his career during which he had witnessed many changes in technology and forensics and 'enjoyed every minute of it'.

Peter was laid to rest in Ballyfad Cemetery on Friday following funeral mass in St David's Church, Johnstown Upper, Arklow.

He is survived by his wife Alice, sons Declan, Brian and Tommy, and siblings Joe, Thomas, Mike, Marie, Nuala, Sheila, Ann (and predeceased by Batty), daughters-in-law Georgina, Leann, partner Peter, grandchildren Shauna, Grace, Rían, nephews, nieces, extended family, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace.

'He brought his common sense to the Credit Union'

After the sad passing of much-loved former superintendent Peter Finn, Barry Monaghan, general manager of Gorey Credit Union, paid tribute to his dear friend.

'Peter has given over 39 years' service to the Board of Directors and thereby the members of Gorey Credit Union Ltd.

'Poignantly he had just been re-elected for a further three year term at our recent AGM. In his time with GCU, Peter held many varying roles, including president, vice chair as well as positions on the nominations, investments, and membership and risk committees.

'He was also a member of the steering committee that successfully completed a transfer of engagements with the former Avonmore Credit Union.

'Held in high esteem by all who knew him, Peter was the definition of a community man who carried out his duties diligently, effectively and with great sensitivity, not just in his roles with Gorey Credit Union Ltd, but throughout his working life and in local community affairs superbly demonstrated by his work with the Johnstown-Coolgreany Gymkhana Committee and the Arklow Cancer Support Group.

'A thorough gentleman, with a great sense of humour, his common sense shone through on many an occasion around the board room table, the only time it may have betrayed him was when discussing his beloved Kerry football team.

'He will be greatly missed by all connected with him in Gorey Credit Union and on behalf of the Board of Directors, management and staff we offer our sincere condolences to his wife Alice, sons Declan, Brian and Tommy, his brothers Joe, Thomas, Mike and the late Batty, sisters Marie, Nuala, Sheila and Ann and extended family.'

Gorey Guardian