Retired Garda Sergeant honoured

By Tom Young

At a ceremony in Waterford Garda Station last Monday night, retired Garda Sergeant Joe Hurley was presented with The Liddy Medal by Gerald Lovett, General Secretary of the Garda Siochana Retired Members Association.

The medal is presented to retired gardai who were injured in the line of duty while in the Force.

Mr. Hurley, who joined the Garda Siochana in 1954 and retired in 1986, qualified for the medal because of injury and severe trauma he suffered as a consequence of being involved in a traffic accident near Kilmacthomas on July 11, 1983, which claimed the life of his equally esteemed colleague, Garda Denis Connolly. A lorry jack-knifed and crashed into a patrol car driven by the late Garda Connolly and in which Mr. Hurley was a front seat passenger.

The Liddy Medal is so called in memory of the late Garda Chief Superintendent Sean Liddy, a founder member of the Garda Siochana who, on his retirement, founded the Garda Pensioners Association, later to be renamed the Garda Siochana Retired Members Association. He was first President of the Garda Pensioners Association from 1961 until 1966.

Following six months of traininig at the Garda Depot in Phoenix Park, the young Garda Hurley was first posted to Sligo Town and then to Kiltyclogher in County Leitrim, Letterkenny and Sligo again, before being promoted to the rank of Sergeant. In that role he served first in Villierstown, then Glenmore and finally Waterford City from 1966 until his retirement.

He also spent periods on a temporary basis at several locations around the country, including Kilkenny and Dungarvan. In fact he served in all four provinces, in fourteen counties and twenty different garda stations.

Mr. Hurley is married to Eileen, also a former Garda.

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