Ulster’s fallen policemen remembered
Police officers who died in the course of duty in Northern Ireland have been remembered at the annual National Police Memorial Day service.
Security Minister Paul Goggins paid tribute to all officers in the province and the sacrifice of those who lost their lives at the service held this year in Cardiff at St David's Hall.
Constable Stephen Carroll, who became the first officer in Northern Ireland to be murdered in 11 years when he was shot dead by dissident republicans in Craigavon, Co Armagh, in March, was singled out by the minister as were the four officers killed when their patrol vehicle crashed and caught fire near Warrenpoint, Co Down, last November. New PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott represented the force he took the helm of just last Tuesday.
Mr Goggins said the calibre and dedication of officers who selflessly served all the people of Northern Ireland was a credit to those who wore the uniform.
“The people of Northern Ireland are served by some of the best police officers in the world, whose courage and dedication is second to none,” he said.
“I pay particular tribute to all those brave men and women who selflessly gave their lives performing their duties in Northern Ireland.
“Today we remember especially constable Kevin Gorman, reserve constable Declan Greene, reserve constable Kenny Irvine, constable James Magee and constable Stephen Carroll who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving their community.
“I pay tribute to those officers and offer my sincere condolences to their families, some of whom are with us here today.”
The National Memorial Day Service is an annual event in the police calendar and held on the nearest Sunday to September 29 — which is St Michael's Day, the patron saint of police officers.
The service allows the whole police family to remember fallen officers and rotates around the countries of the UK.
It has already been held in Belfast to which it returns in 2010. Police Service officers also attending the Cardiff service with Matt Baggott included Superintendent Gary White — representing the Superintendents' Association, Northern Ireland — and Constable Peter Olphert, Trustee, Police Roll of Honour Trust.