Huge shock at passing of former garda Jim
TRIBUTES have been paid in Arklow to the late James (Jim) McCawl, who has passed away at the age of 74.
A retired Detective Garda, Mr McCawl was stationed in Arklow Garda Station for many years and still lived locally. He had travelled to Portugal on Saturday last as part of a group of around 20 Irish people for a week-long cycle in aid of Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
Mr McCawl passed away unexpectedly on Sunday in Faro.
A hugely respected investigator, he was involved in several high-profile cases throughout his career, most notably the probe into the murder of Tom Nevin at Jack White’s pub on March 3, 1996. Mr McCawl was among the local gardaí who gave evidence at the subsequent trial of Mr Nevin’s wife Catherine for murder in 2000.
A long-time supporter of Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital, he raised hundreds of thousands for this worthy cause and was among the organisers of a dinner dance held in the Arklow Bay Hotel for 25 years.
A native of Offaly, Mr McCawl joined An Garda Siochana in 1967 following in the footsteps of his father. He was initially stationed in Ennicorthy and Oulart in Co Wexford before transferring to Arklow in 1971. He was appointed detective in 1973.
During his long career, he was involved in many serious investigations including the murder of Stephen Murphy at a motorcycle rally in Carnew in 1994.
Mr McCawl retired from the force in 2002 after 35 years service at the then compulsory retirement age of 57.
He was married to Bernadette for many years.
‘He was an energetic, fit and kind man who had incredible local knowledge of Arklow and its history and a heightened sense of justice and fair play. Jim was a determined investigator and a great friend for many years who will be sadly missed,’ said retired Detective Sergeant Fergus O’Brien.
Alongside colleagues, he had been fundraising for Crumlin Hospital since 1993. He had travelled to Portugal on Saturday alongside a group of around 20 to undertake a cycle challenge. The group have taken part in many cycles together over the years.
After Jim’s untimely passing, the group decided to continue the cycle in his memory.
‘Jim was a lovely man and an amazing supporter of CMRF Crumlin. He attended over 25 overseas cycling events and organised numerous other fundraising events with his Garda colleagues in Arklow. He’s been fundraising for sick children since 1993,’ a spokesperson for the Children’s Medical and Research Facility at Crumlin said.
‘I was involved in organising the overseas cycle event when I was in the CMRF Crumlin office, so I knew Jim since the beginning of the event,’ Mary Coughlan, CMRF Crumlin supporter, said.
‘Everyone is so dedicated to helping sick children on these trips, and that’s what Jim was like. He was so kind and caring. He always looked out for the other people in the cycle group and made sure they were doing okay. Jim was a great leader on all of the trips.’
‘Jim will be missed by everyone in CMRF Crumlin. We are thinking of Jim’s family during this difficult time,’ the CMRF spokesperson added.
At the time of going to print, funeral arrangements had yet to be announced. May he rest in peace.
HE WAS AN ENERGETIC, FIT AND KIND MAN WHO HAD AN INCREDIBLE KNOWLEDGE OF ARKLOW AND A HEIGHTENED SENSE OF JUSTICE AND FAIR PLAY
The late Jim McCawl.