Conor Griffin was a young Garda from Lucan in the prime of his life who loved his job.

Aged just 25, he’d joined the force two years previously and was quickly proving himself an excellent addition.

A member of Lucan Sarsfields GAA club, he was passionate about hurling, swimming and having fun with his friends.

At 5.30 in morning of May 15, 2000, Conor and his colleague Garda Garreth Herron were on duty in an unmarked patrol car patrolling the Finglas sub-district. A colleague sent a call for assistance after a stolen car was spotted in the area.

Conor and Gareth were on their way to support their colleague when their patrol car collided with a pole. Both young men were killed instantly.

Eighteen years on and the pain is still there for Conor’s father Micheal.

“These things take time, it’s not easy. Conor was a lovely young man, a great son, he loved people.”

Michael, from Ballydowd is a retired Garda Inspector and president of The Garda Survivors Support Association (GSSA) was speaking to Dublin Gazette ahead of the group’s annual fundraising event this month.

“The annual concert is to help fund the running of the GSSA” says Michael.

“It’s a group dedicated to helping and supporting families to rebuild their lives after experiencing the trauma of a loved one’s death during service.

“It is very important in helping us deal with our grief.

“When we get together and talk with other families we feel we are in a safe space where we can share our experiences.

“We get no funding from anyone so we have to raise money ourselves. That’s why this concert is so important.”

The GSSA meets once a month in different parts of the country.

“It’s always good to talk. It’s not easy, each family deals with it in their own way but it’s important to have support you can relate to,” says Michael.

This year’s concert, which takes place on November 27 in Westmanstown Centre in Clonsilla, features an evening of seasonal music and song.

“We have a great night organised,” says Michael.

“Soprano Fiona Murphy will sing accompanied by the Garda Band and everyone is welcome.

“We have loads of amazing prizes to raffle, and this’ll be a great night to start the Christmas season.”

Tickets are €25 and available from Michael (086 870 4365) from Margaret Dixon, 086 845 1949 and Breda Hand 083 824 8730.