Interviewed 17 June 2021
Here, retired Inspector Rita Delaney and Retired Detective Garda Garvan Ware reflect on the death and funeral of Dubliner Michael ‘Mickey’ Edmonds, a civilian with a genetic syndrome known as Fragile X, who spent many years with AGS at Kevin Street Garda Station. Edmonds was invited to spend the day in Kevin Street Garda Station when he was eight and spent the following four decades, as an ever-present fixture at the station, where he endeared himself to Gardaí who served there over the years. Mickey had a genetic syndrome known as Fragile X, and was unable to speak, read or write, but developed the ability to speak as he got older. Mickey died in 2011 at the age of 53 and his funeral at The Church of St. Nicholas of Myra, Francis Street, was organised and attended by AGS who had known him at Kevin Street Station, where a photographic tribute hangs in his honour. The annual Mickey Edmonds Memorial Cup is played in his honour, between Kevin Street and Kilmainham Garda stations.
GARVAN WARE: It was just like, as I say, Rita when you look back and you think of his mother, Annie, and his sisters and his brother like it must have been great for his mother back then in whatever year he arrived in the ’60s into him growing up into a boy and young man in the ’70s and ’80s that he had that outlet. It is bizarre, it was perfectly healthy, nothing untoward, he was so well looked after and yet it couldn’t happen in this day and age, and for many reasons it couldn’t happen, and we all agree why it couldn’t but it is so sad because he was so well looked after and cared for.
RITA DELANEY: He was part of the fabric of the station in Kevin Street and the A district, it was just the way we did business at the time, everybody was looked after.
MR. WARE: Like the A district I suppose probably I am presuming all districts maybe think the same of themselves there was possibly a little maybe reputation with the A district that it could be a bit maybe maverick or a bit different or whatever.
RITA DELANEY: Lively, Garvan.
MR. WARE: Lively. You know I didn’t see anyone in my time there not give him any time. I am sure there were people probably uncomfortable not alone with Mickey, probably be uncomfortable with a lot of the company, guards included. He was just part and parcel of it. As I say, this is the third time I have said it, it is hard to picture it in this day and age you know.
RITA DELANEY: As you say there is so much regulation now and there is health and safety. Well, there is a new station in Kevin Street and I don’t think Mickey would have liked it because of the lifts and all that sort of thing. It just would not have been the same place.
MR. WARE: Again I am sure I had five or six, seven, maybe eight superintendents while I there was from start to finish but one just flowed into other as regards their attitude to Mickey. I am sure some had heard of him, I am sure some knew him having been there previously and some didn’t know him at all but you know it was never detected by me or anyone else that the new super, lads, isn’t happy with Mickey’s presence here, or the new super isn’t happy with the access he gets to wherever. It just wasn’t the case. It was so funny to see at times you might go into the District Office and the door would be open into Superintendent’s office and he would be sitting there behind his desk doing his work and you might glance to the big long table, I suppose what would be now called a conference table, and there would be Mickey sitting down just bopping on his chair.
RITA DELANEY: Or writing furiously.