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New Chief Superintendent set to take over the reins in Galway


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

New Chief Superintendent set to take over the reins in Galway New Chief Superintendent set to take over the reins in Galway

From the Galway City Tribune – It’s a changing of the guard in terms of policing in Galway from the middle of next month with one Chief Superintendent retiring from his post and another taking up the reins.

Tom Curley from Kiltoom in Co Roscommon – who has been Chief Supt in Galway since 2014 – will work his last day in the job on November 14 and Gerry Roche, from Abbey, Loughrea, will take over from him.

Both men worked together in Mill Street during which time Tom Curley was Superintendent and Gerry Roche had just been appointed as a Detective Inspector.

One of Chief Supt Curley’s first major investigations involved the discovery of a man’s body in a city fish shop in 2007.

The body of Patrick McCormack from Artane in Dublin had lain in the freezer room of Mermaid Fishmongers on Henry Street for five years (2002 to 2007) before being discovered during a routine health inspection at the shop.

Subsequently, 43-year-old Eddie Griffin, with an address of Cimín Mór, Knocknacarra was convicted of the manslaughter of the deceased man and sentenced to eight years in prison.

Later on, in the same year, both Curley and Roche headed up the investigation into the brutal murder of a 17-year-old Swiss student, Manuela Riedo, on wasteland close to a walkway known as The Line near Renmore in October 2007.

Subsequently, Mervue native Gerald Barry with an address of Rosán Glas, Rahoon, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Manuela Riedo, who was on a short-stay visit to Galway to learn English.

Gerry Roche, who comes from a farming background in his native Abbey, served as Detective Inspector in Galway from 2007 to 2012, before being promoted to the rank of Superintendent in 2012 to Ballinasloe. He has served as Chief Superintendent in Limerick for the past five years.

Chief Supt Roche, who also worked in the Garda Drugs Unit in Galway, is highly regarded within the force and has a specialist knowledge in the workings of organised crime gangs across the country.

He told the Galway City Tribune this week that he looked forward to returning to Galway and in embracing the challenges faced by the Garda Síochána in making his native county a safe place for everyone to live in.

“I’d like to think that I’m very well grounded in knowing the challenges posed in ensuring that we can all live in a safe, secure and peaceful environment. As always, I will be looking to the public for their support and help over the coming months and years,” he said.

Retiring Chief Supt Curley told the Tribune that he wanted to thank all the many people including the general public, his work colleagues, political representatives and the press, for their support during his time in Galway.

“What I always looked for in my time here in Galway was sufficient resources – in terms of personnel, vehicles and equipment – to enable us to carry out our duties to the highest possible standards.

“The opening of the Regional Garda HQ in Galway City in 2018 was a real highlight for me in that it enabled us to provide the best possible service for the people that we serve – namely the general public.

“I have seen specialist units such as protective services [involved in the investigation of sexual crimes and child/domestic abuse] expand over recent years, while we have also expert officers dealing with the growing threat of cyber crime.

“We also faced huge challenges with the Covid pandemic through 2020 and 2021 and I am very proud of the manner in which members of An Garda Síochána stepped up to the plate during very difficult times for everyone,” said Chief Supt Curley.

He joined the force in July 1982, served as a garda and sergeant in Dublin for a number of years before taking up the post of Inspector in Athlone from 2000 to 2007.

He completed further courses at the Garda College before being appointed as Superintendent in Galway in April 2007, being promoted to Chief Superintendent in 2010, serving first in the Mayo region, before returning to Galway in 2013.

(Photos: Retiring Chief Superintendent Tom Cur;ley (left) and his successor, Gerry Roche).

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