Huge shock at pass­ing of for­mer garda Jim

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS - By EIMEAR DODD

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.


The late Jim McCawl.

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