Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has unveiled a memorial to two Co Mayo gardaí who were murdered after a bank robbery in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon in 1980.
Detective Garda John Morley and Garda Henry Byrne died after they were shot as raiders tried to escape with IRL£35,000 in cash from the Bank of Ireland in Ballaghdareen on 7 July 1980.
We remember brave & courageous Mayo Gardai John Morley & Henry Byrne brutally murdered 37 years ago on this day at Loughlynn, Roscommon. pic.twitter.com/OQplHh36CX
— Charlie Flanagan (@CharlieFlanagan) July 27, 2017
Mr Morley, a 37-year-old married man with three children, and Mr Byrne, a 29-year-old father of two, gave pursuit as the raiders fled the area.
A shoot-out followed near the Co Roscommon village of Loughglynn and the two gardaí were killed.
Two men later served sentences for the murders. A third had his conviction quashed.
Mr Flanagan unveiled a stone memorial at Shannon’s Cross in Loughglynn where the shooting took place.
Members of the Byrne and Morley families, including the widows of the two gardaí, planted trees in memory of their loved ones.
Mr Flanagan said the memorial is a fitting tribute to the men’s courage and “testament to the deep loss this community, and the nation as a whole suffered on that fateful day”.
He also acknowledged the bravery of Gda Morley and Gda Byrne’s colleagues on that day – retired Garda Derek O’Kelly and the late Sergeant Michael O’Malley – “who thankfully escaped with their lives”.