IPA Ireland host IPA Poland as part of a Placement Programme

24 Dec 2018

PIR2From 10-21 October 2018 two serving police officers from the Lower Silesia region of IPA Poland, Dariusz Barczyński from Jelenia Góra and Michał Sługocki from Wrocław, went to Ireland for 11 days as part of the IPA Placement Programme.

Accommodated for 3 days in the IPA House in Dublin, both officers were able to explore the city and visited the government building, court houses and the Garda facilities to learn about the services An Garda Síochána provide. They also met a group of Polish members of IPA Ireland, all working in different posts in the Garda, to exchange experiences and compare policing in the two countries.

Thanks to IPA Hiking Club member Síobháín Ní Firbhisigh, on day 4 Dariusz and Michał were able to admire picturesque sights during a hike to Tory Hill, before spending the afternoon in Kilkenny, where they met with IPA Ireland President Conor O’Higgins, who gave them a tour around town. In the evening, the Polish officers enjoyed the nightlife in Kilkenny, visiting several pubs with live music and tasting a local brew.

The next day, both IPA members from Poland went to Birr, where they met with Grace Heffernan, an IPA Ireland member who they had hosted in Poland as part of the placement programme in September 2018. Grace showed them around the Garda Station in Birr, where they met Superintendent Patrick O’Callaghan and IPA Ireland Secretary General Carlo Griffin. Later, the beautiful gardens of Birr Castle and trip to Tullamore combined with a visit to the whiskey distillery Tullamore DEW were on the programme. In the evening there was time to meet with local Garda officers and discuss police work over a few pints.

On their return to Dublin, on day six the Polish policemen visited the Guinness Storehouse and enjoyed the panoramic views from the Gravity Bar. Afterwards, they went to the Aviva Stadium to observe a briefing of the Garda officers who were securing a football match between Ireland and Wales. Of course they kept their fingers crossed for Ireland while watching the match in the stadium!PIR

The next morning, Carlo Griffin took the visitors to Galway on the west coast of Ireland, where they stayed at the IPA Apartment. IPA Ireland Vice President Michael Walsh showed them around one of the Garda stations in Galway, and later, over a pint of Guinness, honoured the guests from Poland with membership in the IPA Guinness Forum.

The following day, both IPA Poland members visited the Garda Síochána College in Templemore, where they met with the Chief Superintendent, had a tour around the college facilities, and observed Garda students practicing their foot drill. The evening provided an occasion for Garda Students to talk with the Polish policemen about the police work in Poland and the differences in their training programmes. The next day was spent hiking up Devil’s Bit, and even the rain did not stop the visitors from reaching the top! After a tiring day, the IPA members from Poland met with IPA Ireland members Gemma Grogan and Chris Verling.

On day ten Dariusz and Michał were taken to a game of hurling, where they were able to enjoy the dynamics of the fastest team sport in the world. After a final evening in Birr, the Polish police officers enjoyed a visit to the Teeling Whiskey Distillery before flying back home to Poland.

It is needless to say that the time spent in Ireland on the IPA Placement Programme was a great adventure for the Polish policemen, and they will surely remember it well, as it was not only a chance to watch and learn about police work in a different country, to observe how the IPA functions and is organised in Ireland, but above all to spend time making new acquaintances and tightening the cooperation between both countries.

Servo per Amikeco!

Michał Sługocki, Lower Silesia Region IPA Poland