September 27, 2003
The Late Dan Devitt
The Tipperary born former Assistant Garda Commissioner Dan Devitt died at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin.
Mr. Devitt was born in Foilmahonmore, near Hollyfor, in the parish of Kilcommon and was educated at Foilaclera National School and Doon C.B.S
Before joining the gardai, Mr Devitt worked for four years with Joseph Lucas Ltd, a car accessory manufacturer in Dublin.
He had considerable prowess as a hurler, winning an All-Ireland colleges medal with Munster in 1935, seven senior Dublin championship medals and eight senior league medals with Faughs Hurling Club.
He also won three senior hurling championships in Leinster matches, played in the national hurling league final in 1942 and represented Leinster in the Railway Cup.
In 1939, on the outbreak of World War Two, the government established Taca Siochana as an auxiliary police force with the same powers of the regular gardai.
Unsure of employment prospects in wartime, Mr Devitt joined up and when in 1942 Taca members were drafted into the regular garda force, he found himself assigned to Kevin Street station and then Dublin Castle.
He was promoted to sergeant in 1955, inspector in 1961 and superintendent in 1963, serving in Dun Laoghaire, Pearse Street and Donnybrook districts.
In 1970, he was promoted to Chief Superintendent, in the Louth-Meath division and in 1976 he became assistant commissioner in charge of personnel, research, planning and finance.
Mr Devitt retired from the force in 1981 and divided his time between his home in Templeogue and a holiday home in Gortadoo in his wife's native County Kerry, where he revived his interest in speaking Irish and reading theology and Shakespearean plays.
He was stong critic of liberal bail rules and concurrent sentences which he believed were an encouragement to criminals who got caught to commit further crimes and "be hung for a sheep as a lamb".
He also criticised suggestions that the gardai should be armed and opposed the obolition of capital punishment for the murder of gardai.
Mr Devitt is survived by Sinead, his wife of 59 years, sons Paudie, Dermot and Donal, daughters Eileen and Margaret, brother Paddy and grandchildren Lurleen, Dylan, Emma, Peter, Bairbre and Eoin.
He was predeceased by his infant son Eoin.
Mr Devitt's funeral took place at the Church of St. Paul of the Cross, Mount Argus and he was buried in Bohernabreena Cemetery.
Courtesy of the Tipperary Star
September 27th 2003
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