By Dermot Keyes
The retirement of Chief Superintendent Pádraig Dunne, following 39 years of service to An Garda Síochána, was formally marked at a function held at Waterford’s Tower Hotel last week.
Chief Supt Dunne was joined at the event by his wife Sheila, children Emma and Kevin, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, Deputy Commissioner (Policing and Security) Anne Marie McMahon and colleagues from the Waterford/Kilkenny/Carlow Division.
Ciarín De Buis, the Chief Executive of the Parole Board, which Chief Supt Dunne had served on as the Garda representative since July 2021, was also in attendance.
The Kilmacthomas native (60), in his last address as a serving member of the force, expressed his thanks to all who attended the event, in addition to all who had wished him well in recent weeks.
“Policing is no longer an easy task but it is an honourable profession,” he said. “I think both current and retired colleagues will agree with me when I say that it is an absolute privilege to wear this uniform when one thinks of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while wearing it. I am quite confident that those members in Waterford and Kilkenny/Carlow Divisions that continue wearing the uniform after me today do so with the very best of intentions and to the highest standard.”
Pádraig Dunne was appointed to the rank of ‘Chief Super’ by the Policing Authority in August 2017.
While he has spent the majority of his career in Waterford, he has also served in the Garda College in Templemore, in addition to spells in Wexford, Tipperary Town and Kilkenny. For seven and a half years prior to his promotion, Mr Dunne was an inspector based at Ballybricken covering serious crime.
He was the first Chief Super of the amalgamated Waterford/Kilkenny/Carlow Division, “which runs from Youghal Bridge on the tip of Cork to just four miles south of Baltinglass in County Wicklow”.
He added: “There are nearly 1,000 staff in the division, which is now one of the busiest in the country. And the support and co-operation that we continue to receive from the general public, as well as through our Community Alert programme, Joint Policing Committees (JPC) and Local Community Safety Partnerships (LCSP), enables us to respond to the many issues Gardaí face on a daily basis throughout Waterford, Kilkenny and Carlow.”
Addressing the gathering, Chief Supt Dunne stated: “To my own staff in the Divisional Office, Sgt Janet O’Neill, Ms Martha White and our new addition Garda Claire O’Sullivan, I am so appreciative to all of you for your hard work, dedication to detail and how you have all minded me since 2017. Nothing was a problem and you always went that extra mile to meet deadlines or finish project. To colleagues serving and retired over the past 39 years, thank you sincerely. To those serving colleagues that continue keeping communities safe today and in the future, I commend you for your service and dedication to duty.”
Pádraig Dunne also wished his successor, Chief Superintendent Anthony Pettit, every success in his new role.
“I am extremely confident that he will bring both divisions to greater levels of policing due to his wide and extensive investigative knowledge,” he declared.