One of Moville’s longest-serving members of the Gardai has bid farewell to his uniform as he prepares for retirement.
Garda Dermot Hegarty has served his last 25 years in the seaside town and has been a permanent fixture in local community groups in Moville for many years.
A popular face during many years of St Patrick Day’s parades in the town, aptly, Garda Hegarty’s last duty for the force was to keep a watchful eye over this year’s parade in March.
Dermot’s collegues and friends organised a dinner dance in the Ballyliffin Hotel next Friday to give the community a chance to honour him.
Garda PJ Costello, who has worked in Moville with Garda for 25 years, says he will miss his ‘craic’ in the barracks.
“I worked with him for 25 years and as partners for the past eight years and I’ve never seen him in bad form. I will definitely miss his banter and craic in the station. Dermot was always in good form.”
Garda Costello said the long-serving garda was shocked when he realised he spent so long in Moville.
“Dermot thought he was only here 20 years, he never realised it was a full 25 years, so he must have been enjoying himself,” laughed Garda Costello.
“He was heavily involved with the community alert in Moville and the St Patrick’s Day parade so I would say he will be a big loss to the area.”
Local Labour councillor Martin Farren, who has known the former Garda since he came to Moville, hopes he will continue his work in the community.
“I have known Dermot for many years, not only as a councillor but also through my work as a peace commissioner. He will be sorely missed in the Moville and Greencastle area. Not only has he been very professional in his job he is also a great community man and involved in a lot of things.”
Cllr Farren added: “I’m very sorry to see him retire but I hope he will continue the community work he has shown over the years. I wish him and his family all the very best of luck in his retirement in the years ahead.”
To mark his retirement and honour the local Garda, a dinner dance will be held in the Ballyliffin Hotel on Friday 20 April at 8.30pm sharp.
Greencastle man Garda Costello and the other members of the gardaí are hoping for a large local presence at the event.
“A retirement dinner when a garda retires is always the norm, but given the recessionary times we are in we understand that people are finding things difficult. Despite this we hope to have a large turnout given he has served in the town for so long.”
Tickets for the dinner dance are on sale at the moment from both the Moville Garda Station and the Family Resource Centre priced at €20 euro each.