A well-known former Donegal Garda Sergeant has paid tribute to the brother of Garda Robbie McCallion who was found dead following a tragic incident in Co Mayo.
Christy Galligan said he got to know Garda John McCallion following the tragic death of his brother Letterkenny-based Garda Robbie McCallion.
Robbie died ten years ago in the line of duty when he was struck by a car at Tara Court.
Robbie’s brother John was found by the roadside while out cycling in training for a Mizen to Malin cycle on Friday morning.
Here Christy Galligan remembers John and his family.
I received the sad and tragic news that Garda John Mc Callion of Swinford, County Mayo died while out training for a charity cycle run near his home.
I got to know John after the death of his younger brother Robbie, also a Garda, in 2009.
I was Robbie’s Sergeant In Letterkenny on the fateful night when he got knocked down responding to a call with two other colleagues to the theft of a car in Tara Court, Letterkenny, in March 2009.
John was the spokesperson for his family and was the one whom I made contact with and spoke with during that very sad and upsetting time and came to know and appreciate over the past decade.
His calm exterior and humility belied the sadness and turmoil at losing his kid brother, but he remained a stalwart in the face of all of the publicity from Robbie death until the trial and conviction of the accused person.
I had that privilege and honour of getting to know all of the Mc Callion family,
from Bob and Nancy, the parents, to Noreen, Deirdre and John, and all their children during this past decade.
John, like Robbie, had a deep sense of duty, but with that deep sense of duty came responsibility. With it came a great sense of humility, honesty and dedication to all those who made contact or came in contact with them.
They epitomised all that was good, not just in their personal lives, but also to duty to the public they served.
The Mc Callion family typified the dedication to duty as John and Robbie’s dad, Bob, and Uncles were members of the Garda Síochana also.
They exuded all that was good and right. They did not shirk from their duties or responsibilities as front line members of the force or as family men.
I met John and all the Mc Callion family when a Garda select team from Donegal went to Swinford to play in the Robbie McCallion memorial park in March of this year commemorating the tenth year of Robbie’s death.
I also met the family in the Memorial Gardens of Dublin Castle remembering all our fallen colleagues of the Garda Síochana only on the 18th of May last.
Knowing the family as I’ve got to know them, and that is only minuscule compared to those in this close-knit group, they exuded all that was good and right.
John was training for the Garda Cycle Run from Malin to Mizen Head, and it was this sense of dedication and love for others that makes him stand out as the incredible person that I will remember him as.
To his wife Colette, daughters Sarah and Grace and son Robert, and all the Mc Callion family, friends and work colleagues, I mourn with you at this great loss but always remember that your Husband, Father, Uncle, Son and Friend and Colleague, will never be forgotten just, like his brother Robbie.
They will always be very much a part of our lives, and those of us who knew John and Robbie will know that we had the privilege and honour of meeting that which was good and honest and caring in society, and one that we all strive to be.
Ar Dhéis Dé Go Raibh a hAinm Dílís.
Christy Galligan, (retd. Gda. Sgt)