The Scott Medal for Bravery
In 1923 Colonel Walter Scott, an Honorary Commissioner of the New York City Police and a well known philanthropist, presented An Garda Síochána, then the world’s youngest Police Force, with a $1,000 gold bond.
"There was only one condition attached to the award of the Scott Medal: "No action, however heroic, will merit the award of the Scott medal unless it takes the shape of an act of personal bravery, performed intelligently in the execution of duty at imminent risk to the life of the doer, and armed with full previous knowledge of the risk involved".
The medal is in the form of a Celtic cross. There are 5 panels on the face of the medal that depict the words "The Scott Medal", "For Valour", the eagle and the shield of the USA, the harp and sunburst and the Garda Crest. The reverse of the medal carries the inscription, "Garda Síochána na h-Éireann". The 4 outside panels are the arms of the four provinces of Ireland - Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught.
The above Scott Medal was awarded to Sergt. Peter O'Reilly in 1925 and was the third Scott Medal to be awarded. It was presented to Sergt. O'Reilly in August 1926.
The first recipient of the Scott Medal was Garda Mulroy (later Sergeant) who received the medal from Colonel Walter Scott at the Depot in the Phoenix Park in 1924. Mulroy was awarded the medal when he resisted two men who attempted to relieve him of his uniform and notebook, he was held captive at gun-point and forced to walk several miles be the two armed men. When the opportunity arose Garda Mulroy tackled the two men and although he received a shotgun wound to the shoulder and was severely beaten he disarmed the two men forcing them to flee, one of the men was later arrested.
|Year||Medal||Rank||Name||Garda Number||Awarded for|
|1923||Gold||Garda||Mulroy James||1264||While injured arrested one of a groups of men who had attacked him, also arrested a notorious criminal|
|1924||Gold||Garda||Rooney John||3378||Arrested a notorious criminal|
|1925||Gold||Sergeant||O’Reilly Peter||1873||Arrested armed robber while unarmed|
|1925||Silver||Garda||Whelan John||11825||Arrested armed robber while unarmed|
|1925||Bronze||Detective Garda||Hanafin James||1873||Arrested armed robber while unarmed|
|1926||Gold||Garda||Ward John||12491||Arrested an armed post office robber while unarmed|
|1926||Silver||Garda||O’Donoghue Francis||2943||Arrested armed criminals while unarmed|
|1926||Silver||Garda||Scully Charles||12428||Arrested armed criminals while unarmed|
|1927||Gold||Sergeant||Kelly John||3656||Saved the crew of a Danish Schooner wrecked in Killala Bay|
|1927||Silver||Garda||Ellis J J||6848||Saved the crew of a Danish Schooner wrecked in Killala Bay|
|1927||Silver||Garda||O’Brien John||5846||Rescued 2 people from drowning in Courtown Harbour|
|1927||Silver||Garda||Hannon David||12253||Rescued would be suicide from drowning|
|1928||Gold||Garda||Lockart Victor||12221||Arrested an armed man while unarmed|
|1928||Silver||Garda||Scully Thomas||4708||Rescued a woman from under horses at Tramore Races|
|1928||Bronze||Garda||Manning Charles||11771||Rescued a woman from drowning in the River Liffey|
|1929||Silver||Garda||Mahon Thomas||3981||Arrested a dangerous lunatic armed with a shotgun while unarmed|
|1929||Silver||Garda||Semple Hugh||343||Arrested a dangerous lunatic armed with a shotgun while unarmed|
|1930||Gold||Sergeant||Mullane Michael||1905||Captured men armed with rifles while unarmed|
|1930||Silver||Garda||Connerton Bryan||4447||Captured men armed with rifles while unarmed|
|1930||Silver||Garda||Scott James||4173||Attempted rescue from drowning at Cobh|
|1930||Silver||Sergeant||Cullen Arthur||1938||Rescued a woman kidnapped by armed men|
|1930||Bronze||Garda||Leddy James||1894||Rescued a woman kidnapped by armed men|
|1930||Bronze||Detective Garda||Kelly Joseph||4317||Rescued a woman kidnapped by armed men|
|1931||Gold||Garda||Connell Charles||2980||Arrested a dangerous armed lunatic while unarmed|
|1931||Gold||Garda||Hayden Michael||726||Arrested a dangerous armed lunatic while unarmed|
|1931||Silver||Garda||Langton Martin||3617||Rescued two girls from drowning at Howth|
|1931||Bronze||Garda||Sweeney Patrick||1277||Rescued would be suicide from drowning|
|1932||Gold||Sergeant||Fennelly Laurence||114||Rescued 2 people from burning house|
|1932||Silver||Garda||Smith Henry L||1969||Rescued 2 people from drowning|
|1932||Bronze||Garda||Brady Michael||7505||Arrested armed man while unarmed|
|1932||Bronze||Garda||O’Rourke Thomas J||6453||Attempted rescue from fire until overcome|
|1933||Gold||Sergeant||Wynne John||289||Descended into a 40 foot well to rescue a man overcome with by gas|
|1933||Silver Gilt||Garda||Gillespie Henry||7659||Rescue from drowning|
|1933||Silver Gilt||Garda||Quinn Andrew||4864||Rescued 12 patients from a burning hospital|
|1934||Gold||Garda||Mahony Timothy||2376||Arrested two armed men while unarmed|
|1934||Gold||Garda||Neill Laurence||5357||Arrested two armed men while unarmed|
|1934||Silver||Garda||Ellis John||462||Arrested armed man while unarmed|
|1934||Bronze||Garda||Quinn Patrick||1700||Assisting Gardi Mahony and Neill see above|
|1935||Gold||Sergeant||Egan Joseph||8532||Arrested armed man while wounded|
|1935||Silver||Garda||Malone Patrick||1729||Arrested armed man while unarmed|
|1935||Bronze||Sergeant||Scott Joseph||679||Recovery of girl’s body chasm 90 feet over precipice|
|1936||Silver||Garda||Field Michael P||7718||Arrested a dangerous lunatic|
|1936||Bronze||Detective Garda||Barrett Hugh P||4996||Rescued two men from drowning in the River Lee|
|1936||Bronze||Garda||Rowan Thomas P||8089||Rescued from drowning|
|1938||Silver||Garda||Patten Manus||4576||Rescued six persons from fire|
|1938||Silver||Garda||McGillion Michael||11411||Arrest of a dangerous armed lunatic|
|1938||Bronze||Garda||Conway John J||11965||Rescued 2 boys from drowning at Sandymount Dublin|
|1938||Bronze||Garda||Manley John||7628||Disarmed a dangerous criminal|
|1940||Gold||Detective Sergeant||Shanahan William||12016||Defence of State mails against armed raiders|
|1940||Gold||Detective Sergeant||McSweeney James||12543||Defence of State mails against armed raiders|
|1940||Gold||Detective Sergeant||Collins John||2226||Arrest of wanted man following the shooting of a Guard|
|1940||Gold||Detective Garda||Teahan Denis||6169||Arrest of wanted man following the shooting of a Guard|
|1940||Gold||Detective Sergeant||Mullally Robert||8269||Arrest of two men with machine gun after murder of two Garda in Rathgar|
|1941||Bronze||Detective Sergeant||Collins John||2226||Rendering harmless 2 home-made bombs placed near Union Quay Garda Station Cork.|
|1941||Bronze||Sergeant||Driscoll James||3505||Rendering harmless 2 home-made bombs placed near Union Quay Garda Station Cork.|
|1941||Bronze||Garda||Forde Bernard||7969||Arrest of armed robber while unarmed|
|1943||Gold||Detective Sergeant||Comyns Michael||1233||Arrest of a dangerous criminal armed with a machine gun|
|1943||Silver||Detective Garda||Kavanagh Thomas||3303||Arrest of a dangerous criminal armed with a machine gun|
|1943||Silver||Garda||Kennedy John||3782||Arrest of a dangerous criminal armed with a machine gun|
Garda, later Sergeant John Rooney winner of the Gold medal in 1924
Sergeant Peter O'Reilly Gold medal winner in 1925
Garda 100th Anniversary of the 1916 Rising Commemoration Medal
Issued to all Garda who took part in the 199th anniversary commemorations of the 1916 rising in 2016.
The two most common medals awarded to the Garda are the long service medal which was awarded for 22 years services, the ribbon is green and white and the medal is issued un-named.
The other was issued to all serving Garda in 1972 to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the force.
Garda Millennium Medal
Issued in 2000 to all serving members of An Garda Siocahana of all ranks to commemorate the Millennium year.. The medal is known as the Millennium Medal.
Image courtesy of N. Dwan
The medal was issued unnamed. Image courtesy of N. Dwan
Pilgrimage to Rome 1928 Medal
Pilgrimage to Rome 1982 Medal
Issued to members of the Garda who took part in the 60th Anniversary of the founding of An Garda Siochana pilgrimage to Rome held in 1982. The pilgrimage took place from the 17th to the 24th of April and was attended by over one thousand Garda ex-Garda and their families. Garda Commissioner Patrick McLoughlin presented a chalice to Pope John Paul II during a private audience with the Pope. The chalice was inscribed His Holiness Pope John Paul II: Devotion and Loyalty: Guardians of the peace of Ireland. Rome 1982. The chalice was also engraved with the design of the medal.
Including pin bar and ribbon the medal is 110mm long, the medal disc is 40mm across.
R.I.C. and D.M.P. Medals
These medals were awarded to all members of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and Royal Irish Constabulary who were on duty at a place visited by the Queen Victoria on her visit to Ireland in 1900 and the visit of King Edward VII in 1903.
The medals were issued named and would contain the name of the officer and force he served with, these were abbreviated on the medals to R.I.C. for the Royal Irish Constabulary and D.M.P. for the Dublin Metropolitan Police the medals also contained the rank of the recipient.
The purpose of Queen Victoria’s visit to Ireland was partially to encourage Irish men to join the British Army to fight in the Boer war. There was considerable opposition by Irish Nationalists to the visit and the Queen’s popularity had diminished considerable in Ireland by 1900, Dublin Corporation to refuse to congratulate her son, the Prince of Wales, on his marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark, or to congratulate the royal couple on the birth of their oldest son, Prince Albert Victor.
The medal awarded for the 1900 Royal visit showed Queen Victoria on the front, blue ribbon and shamrock design suspension bar. The medal was on the same design for both R.I.C. and D.M.P.
The medal awarded for the 1900 Royal visit showed Queen Victoria on the front, blue ribbon and shamrock design suspension bar. The medal was on the same design for both R.I.C. and D.M.P.
When purchasing medals always try and get them with the Shamrock Suspension bar as I have seen a single bar sell for nearly as much as a medal. There are also some copies of these bars around, the copies are cast in a mould and do not have pins, replacement ribbon is widely available.
The back of the medal is of the same design on both medals. The image depicts Britannia with a harp at her feet with Kingstown Harbour (now Dun Laoghaire) in the background, this was the harbour both monarchs arrived at.
Visit of King George V to Ireland in 1911
This medal was issued to all members of the R.I.C. and D.M.P. who were on duty during the visit of King George V to Ireland in 1911. The medals was also awarded to other such as St John Ambulance members and Kingstown Harbour Police who served during the visit. Members of the Phoenix Park and St. Stephens Green Police were also awarded the medal.
The number of medals issued was 2477 and were awarded to the following forces:
The back of the medal shows the dates of the visit, the ribbon was dark green with two red stripes. There was no clasp issued with the medal. New ribbon for the medal is widely available. The medal was designed by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal who’s initials B. M. appear on the medal.
This medal was very similar in design the Royal visit medal, the reverse of the medal had Royal Irish Constabulary Coronation 1911 on it, similar medals with the police forces own name on it were issued to other police forces around the U.K., as with other provincial police forces, the medal was issued to approximately one in every twenty members of the RIC based on an exemplary service record. As far as I know there was no Dublin Metropolitan Police D.M.P. version issued. 572 medals were awarded to the R.I.C.
The quote from Hansard below gives some detail on the issue of the medal.
(Hansard) HC Deb 05 July 1911 vol 27 cc1138-9
The Home Secretary, who is attending a meeting of the Privy Council, has asked me to answer this question for him. The King has been graciously pleased to command that the police medal issued to commemorate their Majesties' Coronation should be granted to a certain number of the members of every police force in the United Kingdom. As a general rule, the medals will be given to men selected for long and meritorious service, in the proportion of one for every twenty members of a force; but in the case of places which His Majesty has paid or is about to pay official visits in connection with the Coronation, medals will be given to all police officers employed on the occasion whose record shows more than ten years of efficient and meritorious service.
R.I.C. Medal of Merit
The medal of merit was awarded for acts of bravery above and beyond the call of duty. The medal was issued engraved with the recipients name rank and service number and the year the act for which the medal was awarded took place. As the event was often reported in the newspapers it is often possible to gain this information by research. The majority of these medals awarded to the R.I.C. were awarded during the Irish War of Independence. A total of 280 Constabulary Medals were awarded for the ‘troubles’ between 1916 and 1922, of these, 180 medals were awarded for incidents during 1920.
Constable Michael Lavelle
Royal Irish Constabulary medal awarded to Constable Michael Lavelle for his gallantry in the defence of the Police Barracks at Gort, County Galway, on the 25th of April 1916.
Born in Co. Mayo on the 23rd of December 1879 he joined the RIC on the 17th of December 1906. He was stationed in Co. Armagh from the 25th of May 1907 and in County Galway from the 14th of April 1908. He was awarded the RIC Medal of Merit for Bravery in 1916 for his role in the defence of the police barracks at Gort, County Galway, on Easter Tuesday the 25th of April 1916, the day after the Rebellion started.
(From the Irish Times book of the Sinn Fein Rebellion handbook 1916)
The rebellion commenced in Co. Galway at 7:20 a.m. on Tuesday 25 April 1916, by an attack on the police barracks at Gort, 10 miles from Galway. That attack continued until 10:30 a.m. The barracks was fired upon, and the windows were smashed. The rebels numbered 100 at first, but the number increased as time went on. Stone barricades were built across the road at each end of the village. The barracks was defended and held by five policemen, who were first called upon to surrender by a leader of the rebels, who threatened to blow up the barracks. The barracks was then attacked by the rebels with rifle fire, and bombs were exploded outside. The Police were called on twice to surrender through the Rev. Tully, but refused, and held on for over three hours.
The rebels then withdrew to Clarenbridge, where they were reinforced by others. An attack was made on Oranmore Barracks. The attack there commenced shortly after noon. The railway line and the telegraph poles were cut, and a large hole was made in the bridge. The barracks at Oranmore was defended by four policemen until relief came at 7:30 p.m. through the arrival of a party of police and military from Galway. The rebels took to flight towards Athenry in motor cars. Ten Sinn Feiners were arrested, and placed on board ship in Galway Bay.
John Francis Barry
RIC Medal awarded to Constable later Sergeant J. F. Barry for his gallantry when the Moynoe Police Hut in County Clare was attacked with rifle and revolver fire by a party of over 30 men on the night of the 8th of August 1919. On the night of the 8th of August Moynoe Police Hut was attacked with rifle fire by a party of men. The attack which lasted about an hour was beaten off by the police who returned the fire and wounded at least one of the attacking party.
(A report from The Freeman’s Journal)
Another daring outrage is reported from East Clare, when the police hut at Moynoe, about four miles from Scariff, and close to the residence of Dr F. C. Sampson, J.P., for whose protection it was established, was attacked yesterday morning about 2:00 a.m. by a party of between thirty and forty men, who opened violent rifle and revolver fire at it. The men in the hut, four constables, in the charge of Sergeant Burke, who has been there but a short time, replied vigourously to the fire, and the siege lasted for about an hour and a quarter. None of the police were hit, but it is believed on very good grounds that two at least of the attacking party were injured. Considerable damage was done to the hut. When news of the raid reached Ennis, Mr. Flower, Assistant Inspector General, motored from there to the district.
John Francis Barry was one of five policemen awarded the Medal of Merit for their actions during the attack on Moynoe Barracks the others policemen were Sergeant P. Burke, Constables P. Murphy, Peter Murphy and D. Keeffe. As a consequence Barry had to leave Ireland because he felt that if he remained his family might suffer at the hands of the Rebels, he resigned in October 1920. He went on to serve with the Police in the Monmouthshire UK.
John Arthur Cyril Mumford
RIC medal to Constable J. A. C. Mumford for his gallantry in the defence of the Police Barracks at Cappawhite County Tipperary on the 5th of June 1920. John Arthur Cyril Mumford was born at West Ham, London, England on the 16th of January 1898. He served during WW1 as a Gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery (Territorial Force). He joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on the 27th of December 1919, and was stationed at Capawhite County Tipperary from March 1920.
(Report from the Irish Times on the attack)
The attack on Cappawhite Police Barracks began about 2:00 a.m. this morning with hand grenades and rifles. Fire was directed from behind a wall at the rear and from houses at the front and side. The occupants of these houses were ordered out and escorted by the raiders outside the line of fire. The garrison of ten- two Sergeants and eight Constables- replied with bombs and rifle fire. The Courthouse, which is a continuation of the barracks and forms its eastern wing, had been occupied by the police for some time. In a house facing the gable-end of the courthouse the attackers bored a hole in the roof, through which they threw bombs and petrol on the roof of the courthouse and barracks. Bottles of petrol and pieces of cotton saturated with petrol were also flung, the object being to set the building on fire. From the houses in front similar operations were carried out. All the time a fierce fusillade was kept up, and the crash of the bombs made a deafening noise. The door in the gable of the courthouse took fire, but the flames became extinguished before much damage was done. Through a porthole in the gable wall the garrison replied with rifle fire.
When the attack had lasted for half an hour there was a shout of “Up Kilmallock” from the attackers, who also called upon the garrison to surrender. The garrison replied with a salvo of rifle shots and bombs, and the battle was resumed with great fierceness. After about an hour and a half there was another demand for surrender, with a similar result. At a comparatively early stage of the battle the house of Mrs. Guerin, in the street fronting the barrack, which had been occupied by the attackers, took fire, and the attacking party left it and went to other premises. The garrison had been throwing out Verey lights and rockets, the explosions from the latter adding to the general din. It was now broad daylight and approaching 6:00 a.m., and the attackers, apparently having got word that relief was coming to the garrison, began to withdraw. Desultory firing was kept up for a while.
He resigned from the Royal Irish Constabulary on the 14th of September 1920 and joined Essex Police on the 10th of January 1921. Promoted to Inspector he was awarded the Police Long Service medal in October 1951 and retired in 1958.
Constable Simon Hickey
Constabulary Medal (Ireland), 2nd type, ‘Reward of Merit Royal Irish Constabulary’, reverse inscribed, ‘Constable Simon Hickey 67897 1920’. Simon Hickey was a Roman Catholic, born in Tralee, Co. Kerry, on the 17th of May 1894. A Farmer prior to joining the Royal Irish Constabulary, he resigned on the 9th of November 1920 and emigrated to Sydney, Australia, where he joined the New South Wales Police. He Hickey was awarded his Constabulary Medal in respect of an attack on Bookeen R.I.C. Barracks on the 2nd of July 1920.
In an attack on Bookeen R.I.C. Barracks, County Galway, which started in the early hours of Friday the 2nd of July 1920 seven RIC Policemen withstood a sustained attack lasting several hours. The IRA blocked the approach roads to the Barracks, which is situated between Athenry and Loughrea, to slow the progress of relief forces which would inevitably be summoned. During the attack the IRA attempted to bomb the building and the roof was set alight. The Barracks were under the command of Sergeant Edward Brady (on temporary duty from Loughrea). At about 5am the Police were forced to vacate the Barracks due to the fire on the roof threating to collapse in on the building, they managed to retreat to Loughrea arriving there at about 8am. Apart from Constable Hickey receiving a slight wound to the ankle none of the Policemen were injured.
Constable William Dunphy
William Dunphy was born in Kilkenny on 28 June 1889. By faith a Roman Catholic and a Farmer by occupation, he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary briefly in March 1909 and then again in July 1910. Based in Co. Westmeath from January 1911 and then Co. Kerry from July 1919. He ceased to be a member when the force was disbanded in April 1922.
The RIC barracks at Camp County Kerry was attacked on Thursday the 19th of February 1920, the attack starting at about 10.30pm. The Barracks were under the command of Sergeant McDonagh with six men under his command. In the attack, which lasted over three and a half hours, the IRA succeeded in blowing the end wall off of the building and called on the occupants to surrender, the Police refused to surrender and continued to defend the ruined building until the attackers withdrew. The only casualty was Sergeant McDonagh who was shot through the cheek. Sergeant McDonage and all six Constables received the Constabulary Medal.
Sergeant Hugh Maguire
RIC Medal awarded to Sergeant H. Maguire for his gallantry in the defence of the Police Barracks at Ballinamuck County Longford. Hugh Maguire was a native of Leitrim and joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on the 8th of May 1900. He was stationed in County Limerick from September 1900 and then moved to Longford in 1909. He was promoted Sergeant in May 1919 and was awarded the RIC Medal of Merit for Bravery in 1920 for his role in the defence of the police barracks at Ballinamuck, Longford.
The Barracks was maned by Sergeants Flanaghen and Maguire with ten Constables. The attack took place at about 1am on Wednesday the 9th of June 1920, the attackers used ladders placed against the adjacent handball alley to throw bombs onto the roof of the Barracks. The defending RIC men remained at the Barracks until 6am, although all the furniture was saved the Barracks was completely destroyed.