Coiste Siamsa 50th Anniversary 1962-2012
Thursday, 21st June 1962, saw the opening meeting of the Ard-Comhairle of the Coiste Siamsa at the Depot Library in Garda Headquarters. The then Minister for Justice Charles J Haughey addressed the meeting which was also attended by the Garda Commissioner Mr Daniel Costigan as well as other senior Garda officers and others with an interest in sport within an Garda Síochána. The existence of Coiste Siamsa was put on a solid footing and has gone from strength to strength since that day.
The last fifty years have seen some major sporting achievements by Garda members at local, national and international level. Many of those sporting heroes have been honoured by their induction into the Garda Síochána Coiste Siamsa Hall of Fame which is now published on the column on the right.
This year’s Coiste Siamsa sportstar award ceremony is due to be held on the Friday the 16th November 2012.
A Brief History of Coiste Siamsa
Coiste Siamsa evolved from a need in the infant force for sporting and cultural activities to occupy 1, 500 energetic new recruits who crowded the temporary depot in Kildare during the formative months of the Civic Guard in 1922. Formal organisation of the body developed over the ensuing years. The history of sport itself in An Garda Síochána began in Kildare when the first tournaments were held on 24th September 1922. In its early constitution, Coiste Siamsa fostered esprit de corps in An Garda Síochána.
In 1923, the official organ of the force, Iris an Gharda identified sport as “a bond of unity in every organisation . . . . to cement the ties of comradeship and co-operation as characteristics of our force. ” It was stated at that time that the aim of Coiste Siamsa is “. . . not the production of champion athletes, but to ensure that the Garda as a body should contain a high proportion of men who can hold their own with the average athlete in every form of sport – from such participation will in due course spring champion athletes. . . ”
As the years advanced, the stalwarts of the early decades faded from the headlines. Many of the clubs survived as hobbies for their members, but organised sport was in decline.
In 1962 An Garda Síochána was again becoming a young organisation as the first generation retired in increasing numbers. It was at this time that Coiste Siamsa experienced a re-birth. Thursday, 21st June 1962, saw the opening meeting of the Ard-Comhairle of the Coiste Siamsa at the Depot Library. The then minister for Justice Charles J Haughey attended and addressed the meeting at which the then Commissioner Mr Daniel Costigan was also present. From this time the existence of Coiste Siamsa was put on a solid footing and has gone from strength to strength to the present day. This point is re-enforced as the Silver Jubilee Awards of Coiste Siamsa was held in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin, on the night of Thursday, 26th November, 1987.
In its present form Coiste Siamsa is the governing body of sporting clubs at national level in the organisation. At local level each Superintendent is asked to assume Chairmanship of his/her Divisional Coiste Rinne. The efficient operation of the sporting body is facilitated by a network of Sports Representatives and Provincial and Divisional Secretaries.