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Kildare gangster behind violent attacks on gardaí remembered as ‘soft and sweet’

CCTV footage showed one attack in which two masked men fired a shotgun at the gardai station and then tried to set it alight

A motorcyclist performs wheelies outside the church as Damien Galvin is laid to rest

Damien Galvin

A motorcyclist performs wheelies outside the church as Damien Galvin is laid to rest

Damien Galvin is laid to rest

Mourners at church

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

A criminal who was at the centre of a horrific campaign of violence against rural gardaí, was remembered on Saturday as “the softest, sweetest and most generous man.”

Damien Galvin was found dead on Tuesday at his home near Carbury in Co Kildare.

His remains were conveyed into the Church of the Holy Trinity in a gold coloured coffin shortly after 11 am as a motorcyclist performed ‘wheelies’ outside the church.

A motorcyclist performs wheelies outside the church as Damien Galvin is laid to rest

Following the funeral mass, which was attended by approximately 150 people, a family member recalled the deceased as a “fun loving family man who made everyone feel loved.”

“Damien is a father and soon to be grandfather,” the family member said.

“Damien was the softest, sweetest, most generous man I ever knew.

“He wanted to see everyone happy and always did everything he could to make that happen.

“Damien would rather agree with you in the moment than argue and have an ill word with anyone. To the many he loved, there was never a no.”

Damien Galvin

The Sunday World exposed the 43-year-old in 2015 as a leading member of a gang that had been targeting the isolated rural garda station and its officers in Carbury, Co Kildare.

The gang had been blamed for death threats to gardaí and for being behind a number of arson attacks.

CCTV footage showed one attack on April 15 of that year in which two masked men fired two shots from a shotgun at the station and then tried to set it alight, according to sources.

Furious gardaí raised the issue in a closed-session meeting with Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan at the Garda Representatives Association (GRA) conference that year.

She was told the brazen gang has made death threats to all five gardaí which were being taken extremely seriously.

Damien Galvin is laid to rest

One officer’s house was the target of a petrol bomb attack and all the officers had been forced to take extra security measures at their homes.

The criminals were also blamed for torching at least 12 cars in the area because they thought the owners had spoken to the gardaí.

The officers also couldn’t park their own vehicles at the station for fear they would be attacked and had to work closely with other colleagues to ensure they didn’t present a target to the gang while isolated.

The Sunday World also previously revealed how Galvin had threatened to make a garda’s wife “a widow” in a vile death threat as officers went to arrest him in 2008.

Galvin told an officer: “You’ll remember this day when I’m standing over you with a gun to your head and my c**k in your mouth.”

He received a three-month sentence and a €600 fine over that incident.

Mourners at church

In 2015, Galvin dodged jail for assaulting another officer after he was stopped at a Garda checkpoint near Clane in Co. Kildare in August 2014.

He failed a breath test but pushed an officer into the squad car as he was clearing the back seat for Galvin.

He then jumped into a bramble-filled ditch and refused to come out.

Galvin took off running into a field escaping from their custody.

He was later fined €300 as a result of the drink-driving related charge and disqualified from driving for two years.

Bizarrely, and despite his involvement in serious criminality, Galvin appeared on a reality TV show ‘Six in the City’ in 2013.

The father-of-two and his wife featured on an episode of the show in which couples compete to show each other the best night out in their hometown.

Most recently, in 2020, Galvin was sentenced to nine months in jail after he pleaded guilty to having a Bear Grylls machete and a torch in his possession, in breach of a section of the firearms legislation.

Galvin solicitor said that her client believed and had told gardaí he thought that someone was trying to rob his house when he was discovered with the weapon at Killinagh Lower at 11.15pm on March 24 of that year.

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