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Remembering Sgt. Patrick J. Morrissey

Sgt. Patrick J. Morrissey (49 Yrs.) a native of Belturbet, Co. Cavan, was murdered while on duty near Tallanstown, Co. Louth 31 years ago this month. On the morning of 27 June, 1985 Gardai Peter Long and Paul Flynn were on mobile patrol at Ardee, Co. Louth.  As they approached the town’s Labour Exchange they came upon a robbery in progress.  Two armed men had ambushed the manager and had just taken a bag from his car contained over £25,000 in cash.  When they saw the patrol-car they fled in the manager’s car, firing wildly at the two Gardai as they went.

Pausing only to pick-up Sergeant Patrick Morrissey, who was in Ardee to attend court that morning and had heard about the robbery, Long and Flynn renewed the pursuit.  None of the three uniformed Guards was armed.  Cutting across the raiders’ escape route, Long, Flynn and Morrissey attempted to block the road at Tallanstown. The raiders had by now abandoned their original getaway car for a fast motorbike they had concealed at nearby Pepperstown before the robbery, and they managed to elude the roadblock.

The three Gardai got back into their patrol-car and again took-up the chase.  The motorized pursuit ended abruptly near Rathbrist Cross where the raiders collided with an approaching car, injuring the driver and her daughter.  Long and Flynn stayed with the injured mother and child while Sergeant Morrissey ran after the robbers, both of whom also had been hurt in the collision.  The final phase of the chase ended in the grounds of Rathbrist House where Sergeant Morrissey succeeded in outflanking the gunmen.

When he demanded that they give themselves up one of them shot him in the stomach.  As he tried to regain his feet the gunman then stood over him and shot him in the face at a range of a few inches.  The Sergeant died within minutes.  A short time later the two raiders were cornered in a barley field and arrested.  The are both still in prison.

Sergeant Morrissey was survived by a widow and four children.  He was awarded posthumously the Garda Síochána Scott Gold Medal on the 4th December, 1986.  (Extract from An Garda Síochána & the Scott Medal by Gerard O’ Brien)



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