Superintendent Willie Keaveney will retire from the Gardaí today (Friday ) after 34 years of service in the force. The 54-year-old Galway native has been the superintendent in Castlebar Garda Station for the past two years where he has worked diligently on making gardaí in the town more community orientated, with great success.
Noting that the strong relationship between community people and the gardaí was something that he is very proud to have played a role in, he told the Mayo Advertiser yesterday: “When I came to Castlebar as superintendent there were a lot of older members who were retiring from the force and the younger members didn’t have the same connection in the town as those who were retiring. So we set about improving the community relations between the younger members and the public, it has worked very well so far. It’s important that the community feel that they can go to a garda they know if they have a problem and we have worked very hard on this issue.”
Supt Keaveney has had a long association with Mayo during his career after first being posted to Westport in 1980, and he remembers his first introduction to the county. “I was a young garda based in Donegal, then I got transferred to Westport,” he recalled. “Even though I’m from Galway I didn’t know towns like Westport and Castlebar well at all. I remember pulling into Castlebar after driving down from Donegal and stopping off at the Welcome Inn Hotel and looking for directions to Westport. There was an old man who told me where to go, and he was as friendly as all the people in Mayo I have ever met since. I’ve really enjoyed serving the people of the county who have been very good to me over the years.”
Mayor of Castlebar and Fine Gael town councillor, Ger Deere extended good wishes and thanks to Supt Keaveney on learning of his retirement from An Garda Síochána. “The impact of Supt Keaveney in building community relations is beyond comparison,” Cllr Deere said. “He has managed to achieve so many positive advances between the public, elected public representatives, community groups, and An Garda Síochána. These advances include the introduction of community policing and Garda liaison initiatives which have made a substantial difference to many local communities. These types of initiatives have made positive differences to many people that feel much closer to An Garda Síochána as a result. I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Willie on a job well done and tell him that he will be truly missed when he departs from Castlebar Garda Station. He has worked hard during his time as superintendent at Castlebar Garda Station and I wish to thank Willie for his contribution to improving Castlebar as a place to work and live.”