Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers

The Old Cinema,
Chatsworth Street,
Co. Killkenny,
R95 XV05,

PSRA Registration No: 001687

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Lot 480/0224

SOLD Hammer price: €900, Estimate: €800-1200


O’Duffy’s Appointment as Garda Commissioner, 1922

A typescript copy of Kevin O’Higgins’ letter (as Minister of Home Affairs) to Gen. Mulcahy, Commader-in-Chief, making his ‘astonishing’ request for Gen. Owen O’Duffy to be released from his Army position to take up the Chief Commissionership of the Civic Guard (An Garda Siochana), 1.9.22, with a signed typescript copy of O’Duffy’s letter, also to the Commander-in-Chief, 4 Sept. 1922, from Field HQ in Limerick, leaving the decision to Gen. Mulcahy and the Government. ‘I am prepared to serve in any capacity that I can be of most value.’
O’Higgins letter outlines in graphic terms the difficulties with the Garda force to date. ‘Conspirators working from the outside with a few Agents within, vanity and jealousy on the part of some Officers, and an absence of tact and coolness on the part of others have combined to create a situation which calls for firm handling by some outstanding personality whose National record is of the highest.’
Astonishing it may have seemed, but it was an inspired choice. Within a few years O’Duffy had succeeded in establishing the Gardai as a respected and unarmed force. (1)

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