There was a big gathering recently of both serving and retired Gardaí associated with the Charleville Garda Station at Geary’s Bar in Charleville for the retirement of popular Garda John Long, which brought his 17 year association with Charleville to a close.
Surrounded by family and colleagues both from Charleville Garda Station and the Mallow District Office, Garda John Long was the guest of honour at the function to mark his retirement from the force after 30 years of service in various parts of the country.
The popular John, a native of Killeedy joined the Gardai in 1985 when he entered the Garda Training College in Templemore. On completion of his training he was posted to Dun Laoghaire for a period before being transferred to Dublin’s Pearse Street Station. From there he was sent to Thurles and he also served in Fermoy before being appointed to Charleville seventeen years ago.
Garda Long also saw service in the Co. Monaghan towns of Clones and Carrigmacross during the BSE crisis in the mid-nineties and the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 implementing the control measures to prevent the spread of the disease, particularly in the latter, which had broken out in the U.K.
If the disease had spread in Ireland it would have had a devastating effect on the farming community, the beef export industry and the national economy. Ireland is a ‘white listed’ country and as such has access to world-wide food markets. If there was an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease the country would lose this status and thus exports to major livestock markets would be prohibited.
Garda Long was a conscientious officer and imparted the law with firmness and impartiality during his time in Charleville and his presence patrolling the streets was a reassurance to the general population.
Garda Long takes a keen interest in sport and in his younger days played with his native Killeedy G.A.A. Club. Married to Alberta who is also a member of the Garda Siochána and a sergeant at the Newcastle West Garda Station, the couple have two boys, Conor and Jack. Commenting on his years of service Garda Long said he had really enjoyed his time in the force and made great friends over the past thirty years. He received many messages of congratulations on his retirement from his colleagues, who wished him many years of health and happiness in the future