Interviewed 18 June 2021
Eamon Hession is a retired Sergeant and native of Mayo. Here, he briefly outlines his background and explains how he became a member of An Garda Siochána.
MS. DELANEY: So Eamon, if it’s okay with you, I will start by asking you where you come from in Ireland and a little bit about your family and your schooling and your childhood. That sort of thing?
MR. HESSION: Great, Rita, great to be involved, I’m delighted to be involved in this venture. Yeah, I was born in Mayo on the 19th March 1952, eh, a place called Hollymount. Early school, primary school. Eh, I’m one of three in family. I’m the middle, I have a brother older and a sister younger. I went to national school, as I said, and then I went to secondary school in 1965, where I cycled to school for the first four years, which was a journey of seven miles each way. School bus for the last two years, or the last year. Difficult times, hard, when I say difficult times, they were tough times and my father was a farmer. I worked on the farm before I went to school and did all the chores then, cycling as I say to school. It was a tough time but enjoyable. Ehm, when I finished school then, I went to England in ’71 for about six months. I worked on a building site there for a few months and I worked in Curie’s radio, it was known as Dixons, Curry’s Radio and Television Factory for another two months.
I heard about the Garda Siochana that I saw an advertisement for and my mother, Lord be good to her, sent me a letter to say that they were looking for recruits in the Garda Siochana, something I always wanted to do for I always wanted to join the Gardaí because I used to know my local Guard in Hollymount and thought it was a good life and that he did a lot of good work and so I said I’ll give it a go.
MS. DELANEY: Okay. Can I ask you one question? Is there a man or a woman in Mayo that did not go to England to work, because I have a good few friends in Mayo, and damn nearly every one of them would have gone across to work, some of them came back, some of them did not. It happened in an awful lot of families, not just in Mayo.
MR. HESSION: Very true, Rita, yeah, absolutely, several of us went out.
MS. DELANEY: You are not the first one to say that you were influenced by the local Garda in your community.
MR. HESSION: Yeah.
MS. DELANEY: A lot of people are coming up with that. They were influenced because the Guards were, and maybe not so much now, but they certainly were a very important part of the community. They were a great link. And what year did you join An Garda Siochana, Eamon?
MR. HESSION: I joined on the 5th July 1972. 5th July. As I say, I applied for the Guards from England in February, and I was in Templemore on the 5th July, which was a few months, ’twas really fast, got in on the Leaving Cert at the time, you didn’t have to sit any exam.