Garda Síochána Historical Society
Irish Police History

First Scott Medal Award to Garda James Mulroy

Lughnasa 21, 1924


General O'Duffy, Chief Commissioner, said that before introducing Colonel Walter Scott he wished to thank the many distinguished people who had honoured them with their presence. It was fitting that when a great man like Colonel Scott from a free country like America honoured them with his presence that he should be received by people who had done their bit to bring about freedom to their own people. They were glad to have their esteemed President there, and also the Minister for Justice, the Minister responsible for the Police Force and for the preservation of law and order. They were glad to have representatives of the Dáil and Senate, and to show Colonel Scott that they were making their own laws in this country now, and glad that he should be in a position to bring back to America that little bit of news. The were glad that they had representatives of the Judiciary, officers of the glorious, officers of the glorious Army which had done so much for the protection of life and property in the country during the past couple of years, and for the bringing of the freedom they were now enjoying.

About the platform they had members of the new Police Force, which had secured the goodwill and respect and confidence of all people without distinction of class and creed. He referred to the great reception he had received on his arrival in America last year for the purpose of attending the International Police Conference and getting inside knowledge of the organisation and training of the Police Forces of the world. The President of the Conference, Mr. Commissioner Enright, insisted on his taking a seat at his right hand. On looking round he was gratified to see the Irish Free State beside the Stars and Stripes, and occupying pride of place. That was very significant, and meant a great deal. Numerous honours and tributes were paid him, and he accepted them as representative of the Irish Free State, because it was a wedding, so to speak, between the great Republic of the West and this country.

One of the heads of the Police Department to whom he was introduced was Colonel Scott. They became friends, and Colonel Scott said he would send a medal to be awarded to the Guard who performed the best act of bravery or chivalry. Colonel Scott also gave him a bond the interest on which was sufficient to award a medal to a Guard each year. He suggested to Colonel Scott that he might see his way to come over and decorate the Guard himself, and Colonel Scott assented, and he was present to perform the decoration.

Referring to Commissioner Enright's work for Ireland. General O'Duffy said it was widespread, and had been instrumental in bringing the name of Ireland to every land, from Sweden to Egypt, and from the Argentine to Japan. He hoped that the Government would be some day in a position to show their appreciation of that work.

Accompanying Colonel Scott, continued General O'Duffy, was his daughter, Mrs. Scott-Magna, and whom they were all glad to see. Mrs. Scott-Magna was present at the Vice-President of the "Daughters of the Revolution" - the most influential and patriotic body of women in the world. One of the qualifications for membership of that body was that parents or relatives or some of them, took part in that revolution.

With regard to selection of the Guard who was to receive the medal he said there was some difficulty in making that selection. They found it necessary to examine into something like 100 files, but eventually the number was brought down to 19. Four names had to be passed over - Guard Phelan of Mullinahone; Sergt. Woods of Scartaglin; Sergt. O'Halloran, of Baltinglass, and Sergt. Griffin of Carrick-on-Suir. Those men were not there on that day - they had gone to their reward. They had given their lives to do their duty.

Extracted from Guth an Ghárda (Voice of the Garda)
dated Lughnasa (August) 21, 1924.
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