Changing of the Guard

Jack Marrinan's battle to modernise An Garda Síochána
Tim Doyle
304 Pp
ISBN 9781782189299

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Jack Marrinan was a key moderniser of policing in Ireland. More than anyone, he changed the face of the Garda Síochána, the police force he loved and served.

When younger gardaí were excluded from a pay award in 1961, almost 1,000 members attended a banned protest meeting at the Macushla ballroom in Dublin. Of the 1,000 guards who attended, about 160 were served with disciplinary notices charging them with discreditable conduct. Eleven men, including Marrinan, were dismissed by the commissioner. After being reinstated, Marrinan was offered a promotion but chose instead to represent rank and file members through what became the Garda Representative Association.

Changing of the Guard tells the story of Marrinan as a transformational figure in the force at a time of great social and economic change. Under his leadership the Garda Representative Association (GRA) evolved into a skilful and powerful negotiating body. Nearly all of the advantages that gardaí enjoy today in their service are built on the foundations he established.

About the Author

TIM DOYLE is a former Garda and a proud Kerryman. In 2001, he published his memoir, Get Up Them Steps, of his experiences serving with An Garda Síochána, the national police agency of the Republic of Ireland. It was his second book on the subject, the first being Peaks and valleys: The ups and downs of a young Garda (published 1997). Tim strives to give an honest, and often humorous, narrative of police work in Dublin, Ireland.

All royalties go to Irish Kidney Association.


“Marrinan’s diplomacy, energy and vision steered a course through difficult challenges, and in the process introduced professionalism to staff representation. During his service, the standards and conditions of employment for all ranks were transformed by his litany of skills; from his sharp intellect and common sense to his moderation and professionalisation of Garda industrial relations. 
All gardai owe Jack a great debt of gratitude.” – Ciaran O’Neill, former president of the GRA

“Jack Marrinan was an extraordinary leader, innovator and visionary. The very foundations of the Garda Síochána’s 21st century professionalism and the force’s role in Irish society owe more to him than to any other individual.” – Conor Brady, former editor of The Irish Times 



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