An Garda Siochana has a new Chief Superintendent and he is a Thurles man
“I have always considered myself privileged to serve Ireland, to wear the uniform of An Garda Síochána and work with the finest of colleagues." - Michael McElgunn.
Thurles native Michael McElgunn has recently been appointed Chief Superintendent to head up the An Garda Síochána’s Professional Standards Unit at Garda Headquarters.
Michael, son of Kitty and the late Michael McElgunn, Thurles, has 29 years service in An Garda Síochána– having served his whole career, to date, in various parts of Dublin and Specialist Headquarters Units. He began his career in Clondalkin and went on to serve in the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), Finglas and Ballyfermot Garda Stations. For almost half his career he has served at the Security & Intelligence Department at Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park in various roles.
Michael achieved an honours degree in Leadership, at UCD, and a post grad in Governance having taken on additional studies at weekends and in the evenings. He also had the fairly unique opportunity of undergoing the FBI National Academy course for U.S. and International Law Enforcement leaders in Quantico, Virginia, in 2019. Michael has also completed studies in terrorism and undertaken specialist instructor training with Europol.
Thurles native, Chief Superintendent Michael McElgunn
He recounts his membership of the team established, by former Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey, to investigate the murder of journalist Veronica Guerin as being amongst his proudest achievements.
“I was a young guard working on a crime task force, in 1996, and fortunate to be chosen to be part of that team. But, from the day of that awful murder I knew there was something about the leadership, determination, spirit and focus of that team which would drive its success,” he told The Tipperary Star.
But with any career in policing there is pride mixed with sadness. Michael recalls the loss of colleagues, especially those killed in serving the people of Ireland during his service.
For almost 20 of his 29 years Michael has served in a Detective role in various ranks investigating serious crime and working with international colleagues.
He recalls his first day in Templemore Garda Training College in 1990. His Dad – the late Michael ‘Rocky’ McElgunn, former Thurles Sarsfields and Tipperary hurler - dropped him off at the gate in his ‘Craddock & Troy’ van. It was the start of a very interesting and rewarding journey which has brought him great satisfaction and sense of achievement.
“I have always considered myself privileged to serve Ireland, to wear the uniform of An Garda Síochána and work with the finest of colleagues.
“We in An Garda Síochána have been given a very important role by the people of Ireland and we should never forget who we work for. We are of the people to serve the people – it’s as simple as that,” he says.
A past pupil of Scoil Ailbhe CBS primary school and Thurles CBS Secondary School, in April Michael was promoted from his previous role as Detective Superintendent at Garda Headquarters, to Chief Superintendent.
And, he has been allocated to head up the organisation’s Professional Standards Unit at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park. The Unit reviews operational, administrative and managerial practices throughout the organisation and identifies areas where improvements are needed.
“I am delighted to be working in this area and thankfully I don't have to move or anything like that. I'm working just down the building from where I had been working so there is no change needed in that sense. It's a big challenge and I have been getting my teeth into it over the last few weeks. It's a big change but I am really looking forward to all it will entail and what it will bring down the line,” Michael said.
He loves to get back home to Thurles when he can, to see his Mam Kitty, and his brothers John, Martin and David, his sisters Maria, Patricia and Teresa, and their extended families and friends. They are very proud of his achievements in the force as are the people of Thurles who this week welcome the great news of Michael's promotion to the ranks of Chief Superintendent.
We join with all in congratulating Michael and wishing him the very best in his new role.
Dúrlas Éile Abú.