06DermotColumnHands clasped behind his back, off he set on his daily beat around the streets of Portlaw, a place more home to him than his native Skibbereen ever was.For 27 years, Patrick Terence O’Hara was the face of An Garda Síochána in the town made famous by the millionaire Malcomsons in the 19th century.
PT was, as his nature dictated, an easy-going type. It would have to take some seismic occurrence to alter his demeanour, one which was ideally suited to his role as the community’s Garda. And he was the quintessential community Guard.
He knew the place he policed, for it was the place he lived, and it was a place he loved. And he was my Grandfather.
While his generation of officers may not have had to contend with the levels of criminal behaviour all too prevalent in the Ireland of today, PT served on the border in the burgeoning years of The Troubles.