The role of the Gardaí in rural areas has changed over the years and has been back in the news recently. Broadcast on 6 December 1973 'Tangents' took a look at the role of the rural Garda in Co. Mayo describing their job as more social and administrative than one of law enforcement.
Tom Chambers lives in the townland of Ballycroy between Bangor-Erris and Mulranny in Co. Mayo and holds the position as the only local Garda. "I see my job as a community relations officer" says Tom as he travels the area by motorbike attending funerals and signing dole cards. The low crime rate in the area means Tom is unlikely to be seen chasing criminals.
Tom is the only police man in the area, where only fifteen years previously there had been four Gardaí and one Sergeant.
This episode of 'Tangents' presented by Cathal O'Shannon was broadcast on 6 December, 1973.
The 'Tangents' series covered news and current affairs and was broadcast after the main evening news from 1972 to 1974. This clip includes the opening sequence featuring Cathal O'Shannon travelling to Co. Mayo to cover the story.
Garda Tom Chambers