Officer Mark retires after 40 years service to people

By Mary Dennehy

AFTER nearly four decades of policing in Tallaght, Garda Mark Redmond looks back at when he first came to the area armed with a whistle – and was set to become one of the country’s first community police officers.

Tallaght Garda Station’s Crime Prevention Officer Mark Redmond has retired after nearly 40 years in the area. 

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Matthew, Lawrence, Catriona, Mark and Alison Redmond

After graduating from Garda college in 1980, a young Garda Redmond was stationed at Pearse Street before being assigned in 1981 to the ‘rural’ Garda station in Tallaght Village.

“There was no Square, no buses, Tallaght West was a building site,” Sergeant Redmond told The Echo.

“Back then Tallaght was deprived of the type of resources it should have gotten, there was no infrastructure.

“However, there was always a great spirit of volunteerism in Tallaght . . . and the area did well, despite not getting what it should have from Government in the early days.

“Parents got involved in the community at an early stage and this made our jobs easier.

“I think, because Tallaght is out on the periphery of the city, it never got what it should have gotten in proportion to the population that lives here.”

After close on ten years in a patrol car, Garda Redmond became one of Tallaght’s, and one of the country’s, first community police officers.

“Killinarden was my patch for around five years and then I moved to the rural communities like Ballinascorney,” he said.

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Mark with Supterintendent Ian Lackey

After being promoted to Sergeant in 1995, he was transferred from Tallaght to Wexford, where he served for 18 months before coming back to Dublin, this time Sundrive Garda Station.

After a year in Sundrive, Sgt Redmond was on route back to Tallaght, where he was appointed the district’s Crime Prevention Officer – a role he held until his recent retirement.

Looking back over the years, Sgt Redmond said: “So much has changed, almost nothing is the same.

“Even the uniform was different, I was given a whistle as part of my uniform.

“Over the years Tallaght has gotten a bad rap, and I don’t know why . . . I wouldn’t have liked to have worked anywhere else.”

Always one to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat with members of the community, Sgt Redmond said: “I think the community police [unit] has made space for gardai to talk with people and to listen to other people’s stories and learn about their lives.

“I will miss the comradery and friendship of my colleagues and friends, and will miss the public.

“I always enjoyed the public aspect of what I did.”

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