A member of An Garda Síochána, Rody Hayes who served the people of south Donegal during times that were both trying and testing, was laid to rest, in cré na cille, in his adopted home of Glencolmcille on the last day of April, 2021.
Very Rev Canon Francis McAteer, AP welcomed those who were present at Mass and he offered his condolences to those in mourning. The Mass was concelebrated by Father Eddie Gallagher who described Rody Hayes as a man of great faith who served the people with unwavering loyalty and diligence.
Father Gallagher said: “We also remember his late wife Maureen who died almost two years ago on August 9, 2019 and part of Rody died with Maureen that day.”
He told those gathered that Rody Hayes was born in The Glen, Killaloe, County Clare, in May 1936, an area steeped in rich history and tradition. Rody had a 38-year career in An Garda Síochána, having joined in 1955. He trained in Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park and served in Carrick-on-Shannon and Grange in County Sligo where he met his wife Maureen née Columb, from Cavan.
After they were married, he was transferred to Glencolmcille in March of 1966. He served alongside Danny Gallagher until 1974 when Danny was transferred to Dublin and Rody became the new sergeant in Glencolmcille. He retired from the force in May 1993. Rody spent 55 years in Glencolmcille and grew to love the place and the people: “He served our community well as a garda and as a sergeant. Glencolmcille became his home. He reared his family here and lived here in Dooey, Glencolmcille,” Father Eddie said.
The Kilcar-based priest recalled that Rody was a man who was faithful to God who attended Mass each Sunday. Rody was a member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (PTAA) and he obtained both a silver and gold pin, during his lifetime.
During Rody’s career he dealt with several major fishing tragedies and coordinated many searches for those lost at sea. Rody always spoke about the help and support he received from the local community and he never had to appeal for help to organise a search party, the people just came to help and often spent days or weeks searching the coastline in atrocious weather conditions.
He formed great and enduring friendships in Glen, which was evident during his recent illness when he and his family were overwhelmed by good wishes and offers of support from kind neighbours and friends.
Proud and honoured
He retained a great interest in An Garda Síochána after his retirement and kept in contact with many of his former colleagues all over the country. He would have been proud of the way that he was honoured by the members of An Garda Síochána who played such a central role in his final journey.
Father Eddie offered his sympathy and the sympathy of the people of Glencolmcille to his loving family Aisling, Annamarie, Fiona, Aoife and Ruairí, his nine grandchildren his sisters Mary Hayes and Maíread O'Loughlin in Co Clare and his extended family and large circle of friends.
In a moving reflection, Fr Gallagher said: “Those we love don’t go away they walk beside us every day.
During Mass Father Gallagher recalled gardaí who worked alongside Mr Hayes and are now deceased; Danny Gallagher, churchill, Mick Galligan Letterkenny, Frank O’ Donnell, Carrick and Superintendent Charles Deasy, who was laid to rest Ballina.
Former gardaí were also present during the funeral Jim Ward from Glenties, who trained with Mr Hayes in Templemore and who also worked with him in Glencolmcille, Joe Bradley who is retired in Carrick and Eugene Mc Gonagle from Cavan.
Gardaí were present on the day and they performed a Guard of Honour - they escorted the remains from his late residence, passed the garda station to the church where they were received by AP Fr MacAteer. A tricolour covered his coffin as gardaí escorted him along the road where people stood to bid a final farewell to a man who had become one of their own.
Rody was predeceased by his brothers Tom, the Glen, Christy, Bridgetown and by his sisters Bridie Nicill, Truagh.
Ní imigh uainn atá sé ach imigh romhainn.
Go mbeidh leaba i measc na Noamh agus na nAingheal aige.
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