Longford District Court bid farewell to Superintendent Denis Shields last week as he announced his retirement.
Garda Shields was superintendent in Longford for nearly six years and was an inspector in Mullingar prior to that.
“It is with sadness and regret that we bid farewell to Superintendent Denis Shields who has been with us here in Longford for almost six years,” solicitor John Quinn said. “During his time here, we experienced the utmost efficiency and professionalism from him. He is a man of kindness and gentle spirit and not alone did he act as a superintendent, he also acted as a mediator in many instances.”
Mr Quinn went on to say that prior to Superintendent Shields’ arrival in Longford, he had the pleasure of knowing him in his capacity as inspector in Mullingar.
“He was great to work with and I wish him and his family well on his retirement,” Mr Quinn added.
“I also wish him all the good years of health and happiness that he deserves.”
Judge Hughes then pointed to his “great working relationship” with the superintendent since his arrival to the bench in Longford 18 months ago.
“I got a surprise when I heard he was retiring,” the judge continued.
“In the time that I have been here, I have had a great working relationship with him; he always had his files read and was a pleasure to work with. He was dedicated to his work, was very sincere and had the necessary compassion when required.”
Judge Hughes went on to acknowledge the superintendent’s active sportsmanship and pointed to their “shared interest” - that of gardening.
A representative from the Probation Services then paid tribute to Superintendent Shields and pointed to the “common sense approach” he exercised in relation to their work, while Margaret Curley on behalf of the courts services added, “I would like to wish Superintendent Denis Shields well in his retirement”.
Addressing the court directly, Superintendent Shields said that it was with “some sadness” that he was leaving his post.
“I’d like to acknowledge all the kindness and courtesy shown to me here in Longford,” he said.
“The District Court Clerk was always very accommodating to me and I appreciate the accuracy of the press in their reporting; to the solicitors and Mark Connellan our State solicitor, thanks for all your help and support.
I left school when I was 16 years old and I am proud of the service I have given to An Garda Síochána.”
Superintendent Shields left Longford Garda station for the last time on November 16. He was then joined by his colleagues, family and many friends to celebrate his retirement at a farewell party in Ballymahon last weekend.