Garda John McCallion

  • The Garda Representative Association has paid tribute to two Gardaí who died tragically over the weekend.

    48-year-old John McCallion from Swinford was found unresponsive by his bike near his home in Co Mayo on Friday evening after going out for a cycle, while 46-year-old David Hearne died after getting into difficulty while diving off the Wexford coast on Saturday.

    The GRA President Jim Mulligan has expressed  "heartfelt sympathies" to the families, friends and colleagues of both men.

    He said Garda McCallion's death will be particularly painful for his family, as his brother Robbie was killed in the line of duty on Co Donegal ten years ago last month.

    The GRA says An Garda Siochána has lost two great members who were inspirational colleagues to everyone in the organisation.

    Garda John McCallion was one of two Juvenile Liaison Officers in the Mayo Garda Division.

    He had previously served in Ballina Garda Station for about ten years, and Books of Condolence are now open in Ballina, Swinford and Claremorris Garda Stations, and will remain open for the coming days.

    John McCallion's remains will repose at Campbell's Funeral Home, Swinford today from 3-8pm.

    Funeral Mass is at 12 noon tomorrow in Our Lady Help of Christians Church Swinford, with burial afterwards in Kilconduff Cemetery.

    He's survived by his wife Collette, two daughters and a son, his parents, sisters and extended family.


  • A verdict of death from natural causes was returned by the Coroner for Mayo, Pat O’Connor yesterday into the death of a 48-year-old Garda, who collapsed while on a leisure cycle on the Swinford to Kiltimagh road last May.

    John McCallion, Carnacross, Swinford, was given medical attention at the scene in the townland of Tullinacurra by a number of off-duty nurses and a Garda before ambulance personnel arrivng.

    Garda McCallion was later declared deceased at Mayo University Hospital, Castlebar.

    Dr. Tamas Nemeth, consultant pathologist, who carried out a post mortem examination, gave the cause of death as acute myocardial infarction, with coronary artery thrombosis and severe coronary thrombosis.

    Responding to a question from the coroner,  Dr, Nemeth said: “There is no evidence that physical exercise resulted in this thrombosis in any way”.

    However, he said that exercising when underlying problems are present can result in heart attacks, and he recommended that people get screened before taking up exercise.

    After delivering a verdict of death from natural causes, the coroner sympathised with the family of the deceased on what he described as “a dreadful tragedy” involving a relatively young man.

    He added that An Garda Siochana will mourn for a long time the loss of a valued member of the Force, as well as the entire community in Swinford.

    Inspector Denis Harrington, on behalf of An Garda Siochana, thanked all who rendered assistance at the scene, and said John's loss is still being felt within An Garda Siochana in Mayo.