Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Newport native Michael Staines was the first ever Garda Commissioner. Picture: Garda Museum and Archives.

A centenary event to celebrate the first Commissioner of An Garda Síochána will take place this morning at Michael Staines’ birthplace in Newport, Co Mayo.

A plaque will be unveiled at Canon Killeen Park by the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Michael Staines (Grandson of Commissioner Staines) at 12pm.

Born in 1885, Michael Staines was the son Margaret and Edward, a Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Officer.

As a founding member of the Police Organising Committee, established to plan the formation of Ireland’s first unarmed police and security service, Michael Staines TD attended the inaugural meeting held in the Gresham Hotel in Dublin on February 9, 1922.

He was later appointed the first Commissioner of An Garda Síochána and led the very first recruits through the gates on Dublin Castle on the August 17, 1922 when the former centre of British Rule was formally handed over.

The words of the first Garda Commissioner, Michael Staines remain a core part of the mission of An Garda Síochána: “To succeed, not by force of arms or numbers, but on their moral authority as servants of the people”.

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