Well wishes are pouring in for one of the “oldest garda in Ireland” from South Dublin who is retiring.
Garda Pat Cullen has also been a Community Garda in the Stepaside, Glencullen, Kilternan and surrounding areas, and is hanging up his badge on November 6.
Pat settled in Ballinteer with his wife Geraldine in 1992. Their house was always open to the community. Geraldine often said that their house was an “unofficial Garda station” where neighbours often came to have passports and other forms signed.
Garda Pat said he has been totally blown away by the well wishes from the locals and told Dublin Gazette he has enjoyed his time in the community.
“It’s been absolutely brilliant. I have very good colleagues. There’s an awful lot of things we’ve dealt with and seen through the end.
“[The well wishes] have been such a revelation. I just do my job! There will be lump in the throat on the night and there’s certainly going to be a tear in the eye.
“I’m meeting people on the road who are coming over to me and they have a tear in the eye at this stage – I never did anything to deserve that accolade or reaction,” said the modest Garda.
Garda Pat spends a lot of his personal ‘off duty’ time helping the community and he loves going to the local schools to give talks to the children.
“I enjoy going up to the schools. I’m off tomorrow, it’s my rest day but we’re going up to a school.
“People ask why do we bother doing the school talks and I say if [the kids] are talking to you when they’re 9, 10, 11 or 12 [years of age] they mightn’t be throwing rocks at you when they’re 18!”
Well wishes have been pouring in from the locals.
Michael Fleming from Fleming’s Butchers in Stepaside thanked Garda Pat for all he’s done for the community.
He said: “Pat has worked in our area for over 30 years and has become a great friend to many of us.
“Over the last five years our community would of being lost if it was not for the great work of Pat and Garda Mandy Lowe working as our Community Gardai.
“Pat has been an amazing help with the reopening of the Station in Stepaside. He was the presence that we needed in the area. Pat was always there parking up in the village and letting people having a visible sign of a garda car in the area. Invaluable to be quite honest. He’ll be badly missed.”
Local Minister Josepha Madigan said: “[Pat] has served the people of Glencullan and Stepaside with courage and dignity for 40 odd years, quietly resolving many issues as a community garda.
“I would like to thank him for his time, dedication, commitment and attentiveness to the area.”
Green Party TD for Dublin Rathdown, Catherine Martin said: “Pat has a great rapport with the entire community, locals and businesses. He has been a stalwart of community policing, visibly and actively working with and supporting everybody, young and old. I join the many others in thanking him for his incredibly positive contribution to our community and wish him well as he starts the next chapter of his life.”
Cllr Chris Curran (SF) said: “Pat is going to be a huge loss, not just to the An Garda Siochana, but also to the entire community. His distinguished, unique friendly and caring
style will be impossible to replace.”
Cllr Lettie McCarthy (LAB) said: “[Pat] embraced his new role with aplomb, getting into the community and making contacts from day one. I wish him a long and happy retirement.”
Locals will be holding a party on Tuesday, November 6 in The Step Inn at 8.30pm for Garda Pat. All are welcome.