Garda Joe Rowley and his wife Marie pictured at celebrations in Donegal Town Garda Station PICTURE: MATT BRITTON
It was an emotional double celebration for Garda Joe Rowley in Donegal Town on Thursday when along with his wife Marie, they both celebrated their birthdays while Joe completed his last day as a member of An Garda Siochana.
One of Donegal’s most popular members, Joe has been in the force for 40 years and has spent 30 years in Donegal working alongside former Sgt. Tony Cornyn.
At a reception in Donegal Town garda barracks, he was joined by his family and members from all over the division including Supt. Colm Nevin all of whom had very fond memories of working with what all described as a true gentleman.
Tony Cornyn in paying tribute to Garda Rowley said: “Joe and I have worked together for almost 30 years. I could describe him as my aide-de-camp. If the President is entitled to have one then so was I.
“During all that time we might not always have agreed on everything but we never had cross words - he always made my life easier and I knew that if he was on duty I could be assured that everything would be under control.
“Very much a community garda he was respected and liked by both the community and his colleagues and he will be missed down here in Quay Street.
“Having just recently retired myself I want to reassure him that there is life outside of the Garda - get out there and enjoy it, you have well earned it.”
Supt. Colm Nevin reiterated everything Tony had highlighted and said that when he had come to the division a number of years ago he was informed that Garda Rowley was ”the most important member in the division".
“He always got the paperwork done and made sure everything was done to perfection. There was little point in all of us being out there on the beat if the backup work was not being done.”
A retirement buffet attended by over 100 guests took place in Dom's Pier 1 on Friday.