CO ROSCOMMON, Ireland - Tuesday marked the 40th anniversary of the murders of Garda Henry Byrne and Detective Garda John Morley while acting in the line of duty in Loughglynn, Co Roscommon.
The two officers were killed by members of the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) who had earlier held up a bank Loughglynn. The officers' deaths provoked national outrage. Three men were apprehended, convicted and sentenced to death for capital murder. Two of the sentences were later reduced to 40 years imprisonment while the third was overturned.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has said the striking memorial to Garda Henry Byrne and Detective Garda John Morley serves as a daily reminder to those who live in and visit the area, of the bravery and courage displayed by Henry and John on that fateful day - the 7th of July 1980.
"Their courage and bravery was to protect local communities, their colleagues and the State. Today is a commemoration of that courage," the commissioner said.
"And also of the courage of Henry and John's colleagues Sergeant Michael O'Malley and Garda Derek O'Kelly who were with them when they intercepted the bank raiders."
"Keeping people safe is what Garda do every day of the week," Harris said.
"But there are times, thankfully relatively rare times, when they put themselves at extraordinary risk in the exercise of their duty."
"They do so knowing what it means for them. For their family. For their friends and colleagues."
That is the definition of courage" Commissioner Harris said.