Human Stories

Garvan Ware

Interviewed 17 June 2021

MICKEY THE COMMISSIONER

In this piece of audio, retired Inspector Rita Delaney and Retired Detective Garda Garvan Ware reflect on Dubliner Michael ‘Mickey’ Edmonds, a civilian with a genetic syndrome known as Fragile X, who spent many years with AGS at Kevin Street Garda Station. Edmonds was invited to spend the day in Kevin Street Garda Station when he was eight and spent the following four decades, as an ever-present fixture at the station, where he endeared himself to Gardaí who served there over the years. Mickey had a genetic syndrome known as Fragile X, and was unable to speak, read or write, but developed the ability to speak as he got older. Mickey died in 2011 at the age of 53 and his funeral at The Church of St. Nicholas of Myra, Francis Street, was organised and attended by AGS who had known him at Kevin Street Station, where a photographic tribute hangs in his honour. The annual Mickey Edmonds Memorial Cup is played in his honour, between Kevin Street and Kilmainham Garda stations.
Garvan and Rita recall how Mickey would attend all Garda functions and would be given a central role by the Gardaí.

GARVAN WARE: Again, Rita, I don’t recall, again in my time when Mickey was with us I don’t recall any function, probably Christmas, in particular a retirement function, transfers he was at every one of them and was really an important and integral part of the function. His usual would be to make a presentation. I think he used to get picture frames out in St. John of God’s in Celbridge where he attended and kind of did his little bit of work. That would be part of his, I suppose, remit on the night, his presentation was as important as the rep bodies or the Chief Superintendent, or whoever was saying a few words, Mickey’s few minutes on the podium presenting was as important and as well, I suppose, wished for as any.

RITA DELANEY: Do you recall the Commissioner would come, the Commissioner, Commissioner No. 1 used to come to the Garda Club in Harrington Street for a lot of the presentations, not for the likes of you and me but for a chief or a super, whoever, who was the first person that the Commissioner would shake hands with outside of Harrington Street Social Club?

MR. WARE: The great Michael.

RITA DELANEY: Over to Mickey. They all knew him. I remember Commissioner Pat Byrne, he served in Kevin Street so he would have known him. There were other Commissioners, and they didn’t know him except through the interaction with the station and the members. Mickey would be waiting outside the door and the Commissioner or his driver or someone might give him the nod and Mickey would be the first person that he would walk over and shake hands with. There might be dignitaries there and he would go to Mickey first, then the dignitaries and then the presentation part for Mickey. I remember that quite clearly. As I say in my time Commissioner Pat Byrne I think was there.

MR. WARE: There was a beautiful picture, I am sure it is in the new station, he was very photogenic. There was a picture of him at his 40th birthday party where Pat Byrne arrived just for the few minutes to do that but if you looked at the picture he is standing upright looking straight at the camera. You know it was a funny one after, it just in jest like, Pat Byrne had a smile on his face and he was tilting into Mickey like nearly to get into the photograph. Someone said to me afterwards you think Mickey was the Commissioner. There would be the odd function up in Harrington Street where, as you have rightly said, the Commissioner of the day would have to attend, it could be a book launch, it could be anything.