As part of our Uniforms on Duty series, we spoke to Clair in Wexford about her daughter’s unforgettable birthday surprise.

young Garda Síochána Ava on her birthday

There’s no doubt in Ava’s mind. She’s going to become a Garda.

A chat with Gardaí in the People’s Park, Dún Laoghaire and a visit from a Garda to her preschool kindled her interest at the age of four.

Since then, she’s always thrilled if she sees them out and about, especially if she comes across a Garda Checkpoint. I’ll never forget the day we were out driving and met a road traffic accident. She was so excited she rolled down the window and popped her head out to talk to the Gardaí!

So when Ava wasn’t able to meet her friends for her 6th birthday (her 2nd in Lockdown), I chanced my arm and set out to arrange a special Garda-themed surprise for her.

After sending a message about her big day to the Garda Facebook page, I was delighted to get an enthusiastic “Roger Roger” message back. The local superintendent got in touch by phone and Garda Áine arranged to call out on the big day.

The plan was for Ava to be out on her scooter wearing her Garda costume, which her Auntie Ada had given her for Christmas. She wears it out to play a lot, so to her, it would just seem like a normal thing to do. But the visit was to be a really big surprise. She had no idea.

Our little estate is mainly full of retired couples that got quite a shock when the Garda jeep came racing in the road with the sirens blasting. But Ava got the biggest shock of all. Her face was a picture: she was completely amazed.

Garda Áine was great with Ava. She let her sit in the front seat and asked her what she needed to do. Without hesitation, Ava replied: “Put on my seatbelt! Safety First!”

After a drive around the village (with the sirens still blaring of course), Ava was given a special gift bag, which even included a Garda facemask.

Ava continues to carry out her Garda duties around the neighbourhood and the home. It’s common to see her outside in her uniform setting up checkpoints or even getting involved with sibling discipline!

For now, at least, becoming a Garda is her life goal and these fun experiences have encouraged her further and further in that positive direction.

Garda Ava is wearing one of our Garda Síochana uniforms out on duty and we are delighted to hear she is enjoying her time as a Garda, meeting her heroes. Thank you Clair for sharing Ava’s lovely birthday story.

If you have a story that you would like to share with us about your little uniform on duty, please get in touch at You can find out more about the series and how easy it is to get involved over at Uniforms on Duty

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