Historic wreath laying for officers killed in Ireland conflicts ‘long overdue’
Police organisations from the Republic of Ireland joined the Police Federation for Northern Ireland (PFNI) in the first-ever joint Remembrance Day wreath-laying ceremony in Belfast.
Representatives from the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) and the Garda Representative Association (GRA) laid wreaths at the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) George Cross Foundation and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) memorials at PSNI headquarters.
All three organisations were remembering officers from An Garda Síochána, the RUC and the PSNI who were killed over the course of more than 95 years of policing on the island of Ireland.
They were honouring the 390 officers killed on duty and in excess of 10,000 wounded during civil unrest and criminal activity.
Chair of the PFNI, Mark Lindsay, who hosted the occasion, said: “This coming together of our three organisations was long overdue.
“At a practical, day-to-day level, our ties are strong and getting stronger as we look at common concerns and challenges north and south. I am delighted that the AGSI and the GRA were able to accept our invitation to honour all our dead at what was a moving ceremony at PSNI HQ.”
AGSI President Cormac Moylan said: “This is a little bit of policing history in Ireland and I am honoured to have been a part of it. Our organisations have suffered dreadfully at the hands of terrorists and criminals. All of them were trying to make their communities safer and paid the ultimate price for maintaining law and order.”
GRA President Jim Mulligan added: “Being able to join with the PFNI and the AGSI is a welcome step forward for all of our organisations. This is the first time we have come together to honour our dead and to say that we remember their selfless sacrifice and commitment to duty. It was also an occasion to say that north and south, our police ‘family’ will always hold them dear to our hearts.”