THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH CEEJAY – IRELAND’S YOUNGEST GARDA GRADUATES

24 June 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A Castleblayney boy who is battling Leukaemia had the honour of graduating from the Garda College in Templemore last week alongside this year’s new garda recruits.

Ceejay McArdle of Castleblayney town, who just turned four on Monday past, 13th June, was kitted out in his Garda hat and a bespoke Garda uniform which was pressed especially for the day, as he joined the new gardaí at their ‘passing out’ ceremony in the Tipperary town on Wednesday, 8th June.
He attended the event with his mother Susan Brown, his father Marcus McArdle and extended family members including his grandparents, aunt and cousin, having already been made an honorary Garda Sergeant at a ceremony in Dublin’s Garda Headquarters last year.

Ceejay’s mother Susan Brown told The Northern Standard that it was a very rewarding day for her son. “It was a fantastic day. We are so proud of him. He loved every minute of it. He thought he was one of them on the day, so he did,” said Susan. “Every parent’s dream is to watch their child grow up and graduate. We just never dreamt in a million years our special little boy would be graduating just five days off his fourth birthday.”

At the ceremony, the courageous youngster met Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan who gave him a present, and the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald. He even threw his hat in the air at the end of the ceremony as is customary at the graduation. “He shook hands with every garda he met. He stood to attention and he saluted them and he marched,” said Susan. “There were families there who brought cards for him. One family from Donegal got him a jersey.”

Susan says the whole garda experience has provided much-needed relief for Ceejay from his cancer treatment. “It is such a distraction. He had so many little fears from treatment, going between Crumlin and Drogheda constantly …
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