Detective: A Life Upholding the Law

Detective: A Life Upholding the Law

by Tom Connolly


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Tom Connolly joined An Garda Síochána in 1955, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather. His early days on the force were spent in various villages and towns around Ireland, tracking petty thieves, raiding pubs and patrolling country roads on his bicycle. Back then, before the dawn of DNA profiling, policemen relied on local knowledge and intuition – as well as careful evidence-gathering and interrogation techniques – to make their cases.

Over his forty-year career, Connolly rose to the rank of Detective Superintendent, working on high-profile thefts, assaults and murders with the National Technical Bureau.

This fascinating memoir offers an insight into the day-to-day work of the gardaí, and celebrates the courage and dedication of all those who risk their lives to keep us safe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847177728
Publisher: Irish American Book Company
Publication date: 12/20/2015
Pages: 333
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Tom Connolly was born in Charleville, County Cork, in 1934, the eighth member of a family of thirteen. His father and grandfather were both policemen. He joined the Garda Síochána in 1955, and retired in 1994, having risen to the rank of Detective Superintendent. He has been commended on many occasions for his impartiality and conscientiousness in conducting investigations, and was awarded the Gold Scott Medal for valour in 1975. Tom won senior county football championships with Clonakilty and with Round Towers, Kildare, and played senior inter-county football with both Cork and Kildare for a number of years. Tom’s wife Maureen died in 2008.
He has two sons, both Gardaí, and a daughter. He lives in Naas, County Kildare.

Table of Contents

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 Early Days

My Family Background 13

Training At Garda Headquarters, the Phoenix Park 18

Chapter 2 Garda

Kildare, My First Station, 1955 21

My Black Boots 24

Neighbourly Disputes 25

After-Hours Tipples in Kildare 26

The Child Drowned in a Gully, 1957 27

Maureen McDonagh, the Dance, 1958 28

Donegal Elections 28

Transferred To Naas, 1960 30

Naas Garda Station 30

The Curragh Camp Robbery 31

My First Encounter with James Ennis, 1960 32

Put In My Place in the Witness Box 36

Chapter 3 Trainee Detective

Newbridge Garda Station, 1961 39

The Curragh 40

My First Encounter with Attempted Suicide 40

A Happily Married Man, 1961 41

Naas Garda Station, Detective Branch 43

Robert Howard, 1962 44

Murder of George Appleby, Watergrasshill, 1964 47

Larceny at Lawlor's Hotel, Naas, 1968 51

Housebreaking at a Restaurant in Naas, 1968-1972 52

Murphy And Gunn Robbery, Naas, 1970S 54

Chapter 4 Scenes of Crime Examiner

Robbery at Leighlinbridge, 1973 59

The Murder of Francis Noel Barry, Naas, 1975 61

Apprehension of Michael Boyle, Punchestown, 1975 63

Murders of Elizabeth Plunkett and Mary Duffy, Brittas Bay and Castlebar, 1976 71

The Murders of Five Gardai, 1976, 1980 And 1983 96

Extortion, Bank of Ireland, Carlow, 1979 100

Chapter 5 Detective Sergeant

Murder and Bank Robbery, Tramore, 1979 105

Bank Robbery and Murder of Two Members of the Garda Síochána, Ballaghaderreen, 1980 111

Murder of Elizabeth Tuite, Delvin, 1981 156

Murder of Margo Kelly, Athboy, 1981 159

Murder of William Mannion, Newbridge, 1981 163

Manslaughter of Marian Ann Cullen, Waterford, 1981 173

Murder of Michael Casey, Drimoleague, 1981 177

Manslaughter of John Roche, Cork, 1982 183

Bombing of the Radar Tracking Station, Schull, 1982 188

Murder of Three Members of the Irish Army, Lebanon, 1982 193

Murder of John Bob Brown, Listowel, 1983 215

Chapter 6 Inspector, Uniform Section

Store Street, Dublin, 1983 221

Murder of Marie Murtagh and Tom Taaffe, Moyne, 1986 227

Murder of Carol Carpenter, Tallaght, 1988 233

Lectures at Templemore, 1989 240

Chapter 7 Detective Superintendent

Robbery at Glendevlin Hotel, Dundalk, 1989 243

Manslaughter of Timothy Kidman, Slane, 1989 251

Murder of Cecil Black, Dundalk, 1990 265

Larceny of Inchcleraun Island Gravestones, 1991 277

Larceny of Ancient Manuscript Pages, Chester Beatty Library, 1991 284

Murder of Siobhan Brennan, Carrick-On-Shannon, 1991 291

Father Patrick Ryan, 1992 297

Murder of Grace Livingstone, Malahide, 1992 303

Conclusion 333

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