Over 40 teams for rugby tournament in honour of garda
More than 40 teams will line out for a rugby tournament next week in honour of a young garda who tragically died following a short illness.
Shane McGinn (23), a popular member of the Garda RFC who was also well regarded within the wider garda organisation, passed away last January.
His funeral in Omeath, Co Louth, earlier this year was attended by hundreds of people and a guard of honour was formed by his colleagues in An Garda Siochana and other emergency services.
Shane was stationed at Mountjoy Garda Station in Dublin, and has been described as a "hugely popular" person by members within Garda RFC.
A memorial tournament will take place next week to honour Shane's memory with 46 teams taking part.
The Shane McGinn Inter District Tag Tournament will feature garda teams from across Ireland, while teams made up of Shane's family members will also take part.
All of the proceeds raised from the event will go to two charities chosen by the McGinn family; Little Blue Heroes, a garda not-for-profit organisation that helps seriously ill children, and the Irish Cancer Society.
Inspector Nick Tarrant, chairman of Garda RFC, said the great interest shown in the tournament was a reflection of Shane's popularity.
"We are delighted to revive the Inter District Tag Tournament, which has always been a big event," he said.
"The fact that 46 teams have entered is a reflection firstly on the rugby club and the garda organisation, and a tribute to Shane McGinn who was a very popular member.
"It is a reflection of the standing that Shane had within the Garda Rugby Club and within An Garda Siochana.
"We are holding the event this year on Shane's birthday, and the intention is to host it in and around that date annually in his memory."
Garda Eddie Fallon, an assistant coach with the men's senior team and event organiser added: "We previously ran the competition every year, but when the recruitment stopped so did the tournament as we didn't have enough teams entering around Dublin.
"We have been trying to revive it with the view of making it an annual event in memory of Shane.
"There are currently 46 teams, which is the greatest number we've ever had, we've never had anything as big so it shows the effort people are putting in.
"All of the proceeds go to the Little Blue Heroes and the Irish Cancer Society, both of which have been chosen by Shane's family.
"Shane came to the club as soon as he was stationed in Dublin and he was certainly a popular member," Gda Fallon added.
The event was officially launched by Deputy Commissioner John Twomey.