38 years to the day since joining An Garda Síochána Mick Gormley held his retirement function in Kyle’s of Coolock on Monday 20th July 2015.
Feature and Photos by Alan Dowley
The premises was full to capacity with friends, colleagues and people from the Coolock community. He still has a few days service to go until he officially retires on the Tuesday 28thJuly. So people of Coolock you have a few days left to get things sorted before Mick walks out the door of Coolock station for the last time as a member of An Garda Síochána.
Mick is a bit of a legend amongst the community of Coolock having spent a few days short of 26 years in the rank of Sergeant the majority of which has been spent as SHO on unit “C” in Coolock apart form a short time in Clontibret. He is so well known amongst the community that people will wait until he is on duty to call to the station to do their business with less fuss and officialdom . Over the years in Coolock he has seen may Gardai come and go, many of whom returned on the night to wish him farewell. He has put many Gardai through his hands on Unit “C” many of them rising to senior managerial ranks in An Garda Síochána. He can take some credit for their promotion having steered them in the right direction while they were on his unit.
He is a good person to give sound advice and I can recall in the early hours of the morning phoning Coolock station and was greeted by a friendly voice I knew well. I was seeking his advice on a delicate matter in relation to a turn of phrase used to describe someone taking liberties or making a joke but in this case it literally meant as it says “someone taking the pi..” no I better keep it clean “someone taking the urine”. A constituent of Mick’s had been arrested for drunk driving and shortly after the person had been processed and left the station I was advised by the member concerned that he could not locate the urine sample. The obvious conclusion was that when the member had his back turned the opportunity presented itself and the cunning individual slipped the sample under his jacket and left the station. I sought Mick’s advice on the likelihood of being able to retrieve the sample before that person got home but they did not return home that night. From Mick’s local knowledge he advised that to try pursue the issue any further would open a can of worms and the best thing was to put it down to experience. Advice taken.
He served on the National Executive Committee for a number of years and filled the role of Honorary Secretary. He took meticulous notes of executive and other meetings. This was all done in long-hand using a Dublin Bus ruler to keep everything neat and tidy. Nothing was lost in translation and he minutes were often required to settle an argument and the final decision was based on his minutes as nobody can argue with the written word particularly if Mick Gormley was taking the minutes.
I would say there is a book in Mick if he ever decided to write him memoir. He has a great ability to recollect incidents and I have no doubt that he has plenty of material having served in a busy station such as Coolock for so long. I have been entertained by Mick as he recalled various incidents over the years.
Mick is married to retired Superintendent Mary Gormley who retired as District Officer in Trim, Co. Meath on the 1st July this year. His mother Bonnie who is 81 years old was looking hale and hearty and enjoying the night. He was also joined by his two daughters Michelle and Maria and two of his sisters.
Both current and former members of AGSI Secretariat and National Executive turned up to wish Mick well in his retirement. President Tim Galvin and his good friend Vice-President Willie Gleeson, Brian O Dea, former Presidents Paschal Feeney and Aiden O Donnell were there as well at former General Secretaries Pat Flynn and Joe Dirwan, Walter Kilcullen and Alan Dowley.
Tributes were paid to Mick for his dedication to An Garda Síochána and the people of Coolock by his Divisional Officer Chief Superintendent, Barry O Brien. Barry spoke about Mick’s involvement with AGSI and benefits he brought to the job through his ability in finding a solution for problems that arose, giving sound advice and assisting members in difficulty. Inspector Colm Helay spoke about Mick’s punctuality always arriving for work 30 minutes in advance of his starting time. I can vouch for this having worked with him some 15 years ago on the top floor of Cabra station where we were testing the new PULSE system before its official launch. First thing he would do on arrival was boil the kettle and make the tea.
Garda Brian Dromey on behalf of his colleagues on Unit “C” made a number of presentations to Mick. The first was a personal bottle of 12 year old Jameson whiskey, next came a piece of Dublin crystal followed by a Seiko gold watch. The Chairman of DMR North Branch presented Mick with the AGSI presentation bust.
Willie Gleeson on behalf of AGSI thanked Mick for his dedicated service to AGSI both as a member of the National Executive Committee, as Honorary Secretary and Branch Secretary in the DMR North a position he has held for many years. Willie recalled his first meeting with Mick they both arrived on the National Executive Committee in 2001. Willie had car trouble on the way up from Cork but Mick who he never met before went out of his way to get things sorted for Willie. This is just typical of Mick’s generosity.
Mick in his response thanked everybody for coming. He said he felt very humble for the number of people who turned up to wish him well. He was getting concerned earlier in the evening as he had received a number of phone call from people who could not turn up and was beginning to wonder if anyone would be there. He thanked his colleagues and friends for their support over the years and in particular his mother Bonnie, wife Mary and daughters Michelle and Maria.
Tim Galvin and John Redmond wish Mick and Mary the best for a long and healthy retirement.