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Det Garda Ben O Sullivan passes away aged 76



Det Garda Ben O Sullivan –  Retired Detective Garda Ben O’Sullivan, who survived an IRA gun attack in Adare 26 years ago, has passed away at the age of 76. Photo by Liam Burke / Press 22.

Det Garda Ben O Sullivan passes away aged 76

By I Love Limerick correspondent Ava O’Donoghue

Detective O’Sullivan was awarded the Freedom of Limerick in June 2018. Pictured here with Ann McCabe and JP McManus. Picture: Liam Burke/Press 22.

Retired Detective Garda Ben O’Sullivanwho survived an IRA gun attack in Adare 26 years ago, has passed away at the age of 76.




On the morning of June 7, 1996, Garda O’Sullivan and his friend and colleague Det Garda Jerry McCabe were attacked by an IRA gang of four men.

Garda O’Sullivan was seriously injured while his colleague was tragically killed in the attack.

The Limerick man joined the Gardaí in 1964. He and Det Garda McCabe became Special Branch detectives on the same day, November 21, 1972.

In June of last year, Det Garda Ben O Sullivan returned to the scene of the shooting where a commemoration ceremony was held to mark the 25th anniversary of the attack.

He was awarded the Freedom of Limerick in June 2018, which was also awarded posthumously to Garda McCabe.

The Mayor of Limerick City and County, Daniel Butler, offered his condolences on behalf of the Limerick people to Garda O’Sullivan’s family and friends.

“Det Garda Ben O Sullivan was a gentleman through and through. The way that he dealt with the aftermath of the attack on him and his partner was one of strength and dignity, qualities that he continued to have until his death,” said Mayor Butler. 

“He was seriously injured, and his partner killed during the IRA attack in Adare in 1996, an incident which horrified the citizens of Limerick and the country. He will be forever remembered for his quiet resolve and dignified determination as he coped with the death of his friend and partner and began to rebuild his own life.

 det garda ben o sullivan

 Mayor of Limerick City and County Daniel Butler signs a Book of Condolences in Henry Street Garda Station for the late Det. Garda Ben O’Sullivan. Photograph Liam Burke/Press 22.

“Garda O’Sullivan was a recipient of the Freedom of Limerick in June 2018, which he received along with a posthumous award for Garda McCabe. His award was in recognition of his bravery in the carrying out of his duties on behalf of the people of Limerick and Ireland and as a token of the high esteem and affection in which he is held by the people of Limerick.”

Mayor Butler continued, “I would like to say, ‘Thank you’ to Det Garda Ben O Sullivan for his sacrifice and commitment in the line of duty. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”

The Irish flag at Henry Street Garda Station in Limerick is currently flying at half-mast and a book of condolences has been opened there.

For more news stories, go HERE

For a full list of Freedom of Limerick recipients, go HERE 

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.