Former Garda detective badly injured in IRA bomb dies

A former Garda detective who suffered lifelong injuries after being blown up in an IRA bomb in 1976 has died.

Tom Peters died in Portlaoise on Saturday, the Garda Representative Association (GRA) said.

He lost his sight and hearing as a result of the blast, at a derelict house in Garryhinch on the Laois/Offaly border in 1976.

His colleague, Garda Michael Clerkin, died in the booby-trap attack.

The GRA said: “His sacrifice will never be forgotten by his family, Garda colleagues and friends.”

The men were called to the scene after a threat was made to the life of the then TD, Oliver J Flanagan, father of the current Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Mr Flanagan also paid tribute.

He tweeted: “Very sorry to learn of the sad passing of courageous Garda Tom Peters.”

A Garda statement said the force was saddened.

“Tom was badly injured on October 16th 1976, when he and four other Gardai were victims of bomb planted at a vacant house in Garyhinch on the Laois/Offaly border.

“The courage shown by Tom Peters and his colleagues, Jim Cannon, Ben Thornton, Gerry Bohan and Michael Clerkin, who lost his life that night, was recognised in December 2017 when they were presented with the Gold Scott medal by the then Garda Commissioner.”