“Suicide” finding at inquest into death of Sgt Mick Galvin

A popular Donegal garda sergeant took his own life, inquest in Donegal town hears

Sue Doherty


Sue Doherty



“Suicide” finding at inquest into death of Sgt Mick Galvin

The late Garda Sergeant Mick Galvin

A popular Donegal garda sergeant, who was also a well known GAA referee, took his own life, an inquest has concluded.

Sgt Michael “Mick” Galvin of Park Road, Manorhamilton, was the member in charge of Ballyshannon Garda Station, Gda Supt. Colm Nevin told the inquest this afternoon at Donegal Court House.

At around 11.50pm, Sgt Galvin rang his friend and colleague, Gda Paddy Battle, who had just gone to bed.

"I asked what the feck are you still doing there?", Gda Battle stated in a deposition read out at the inquest. "We spoke briefly about a work file."

In response to a query from the coroner, Dr Denis McCauley, Gda Battle said, "In my opinion it was a normal phone call, there was nothing at all unusual about it."

Gda Claire O'Hara, who was on duty at Ballyshannon Garda Station, recalled watching tv and chatting with Sgt Galvin from 11pm until around midnight, when she heard him go into his office.

Sgt Galvin's wife Collette rang the station around 4.40am and Gda O'Hara went to his office where she found a brown A4 envelope with the word "Collette" written on it. She rang Supt Nevin and a search began.

When Garda Ciaran O'Brien came on duty at 7am, he went to the detective's office and he found Sgt Galvin slumped back in a chair behind a desk.

"I knew he was dead."

Dr McCauley noted that there was no evidence of foul play and said that the correct finding in the case was one of suicide. "The presence of a letter means that intent has been proven," he explained.

The coroner and Supt. Nevin conveyed their deepest sympathies to Mrs Galvin, Sgt Galvin's father, and other family members who were present.

* If you have been affected by suicide you can talk to The Samaritans, tel: 116 123.