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'Hero' Garda McCallion remembered

Nancy and Bob McCallion, parents of the late Garda Robert McCallion , Swinford, and family at the re-dedication of Swinford GAA Club's pitch which was officially opened in the late garda's honour. Also included is legendary Mayo All-Ireland 1950/51 winning footballer Dr. Padraig Carney, who performed the official opening ceremony. Photo: David Farrell.

BY CHRIS MCNULTYY IN SWINFORD

THE late Garda Robbie McCallion was remembered as the GAA pitch in his native Swinford, Co Mayo was dedicated in his memory.

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Gda McCallion was tragically killed while on duty in Letterkenny in Letterkenny in April 2009.

A large crowd converged on his home club’s venue which is now the Robert McCallion Memorial Ground.

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny – who hails from neighbouring Castlebar – was among the dignitaries present on the day.

High-ranking representatives from An Garda Siochana, including a large contingent from the Donegal division, were in attendance.

They heard the local priest, Fr Meehan, talk of Gda McCallion as a ‘sincere sportsman and a dedicated man of the State.’

The official re-opening of the ground was performed by Dr Padraig Carney.

Dr Carney said: “It is a pleasure to be here in Swinford to remember out hero, Robert McCallion.”

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Early in the day, a Garda selection played the local Swinford team, while Donegal defeated Mayo in a senior challenge game, 1-14 to 3-7.

“It was nice to be down here to play some part in the day,” said Donegal manager Jim McGuinness.

“We were more than happy to come to help the club and Robert’s family. “

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