Council honours fallen Gardaí on 81st anniversary

by Rachel Cunningham
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Dublin City Council unveiled a plaque last Monday to honour two garda detectives who were killed on Rathgar Road in the line of duty 81 years ago today, writes Rachel Cunningham.

Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown, from Armagh, and Mayo-born detective Garda Richard Hyland, were both shot during a raid at 97A Rathgar Road, on August 16, 1940.

Shortly before 8am on that date a group of five detectives, under the command of Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown, carried out a search in Rathgar Road, Dublin, under the provisions of the Offences against the State Act, 1939.  After gaining entry to the building, the Gardaí were surprised by a burst of gunfire from behind a partition wall.

Dublin City Council honours fallen Gardai on 81st anniversary of their deaths. Pictured is from left, Orla McKeown, grand niece of Detective Sergeant Patrick McKeown, who was killed, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Mary P. Hyland, a daughter of Detective Garda Hyland who was also killed, and who unveiled the plaque. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography

Detective Garda Hyland managed to discharge one shot after being wounded which warned off his surviving colleagues from entering through the front of the shop. Detective Sergeant McKeown died from his wounds the following day. Another garda, Detective Garda Brady, was seriously wounded.

At the event Garda Commissioner Drew Harris spoke of the two men who were killed, and the sacrifice they made when carrying out their duties. He said: “We know through history that on August 16, 1940, Detective Garda Hyland and Detective Sergeant McKeown demonstrated immense bravery and performed their duties intelligently, fully knowing that there was a risk to their lives.

Dublin City Council honours fallen Gardai on 81st anniversary of their deaths. Pictured is Mary P. Hyland, a daughter of Detective Garda Hyland, who unveiled the plaque along with Councillor Freehill, representing the Lord Mayor and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography Copyright 2021

The commemorative plaque is a fitting memorial to their sacrifice. Later this month, An Garda Síochána will also recognise their exceptional courage and bravery by awarding the Gold Scott Medal to both men posthumously at a ceremony in Dublin Castle.

PHOTOS – CHRIS BELLEW/ FENNELL PHOTOHRAPHY

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