Pat has wanted to be a Garda since he encountered one, aged 8. He applied at 17.
“They said, ‘you’re too skinny, go and get flesh on your bones – and you have to be 18 anyway.”
He worked with Navan carpets for three years, and then moved to Union Camp Corporation, working in sales.
“I hated it, but moved to design, and became good at solving problems.”
He finally joined the Garda at 24, but was frustrated to be sent to Donnybrook to guard the British Embassy. A transfer to Blanchardstown followed. During his ten years there, Pat showed his interest in criminals and in building contacts.
“I was fascinated by how the incident room worked, and I got a few catches. I got the bug.”
A promotion took him to Clones for two years, but afterwards he got his wish and became a detective inspector working with teams.
Pat took early retirement and set up his own business. And he started writing.
“I was always interested in writing and was good at it at school. I started with some short stories, and then began a detective novel.”
Who is Pat Marry?
Date of birth: 1961 in Navan.
Education: St Patrick’s Classical School, Navan.
Family: Second wife Niamh, and baby daughter Doireann. Daughters Cheryl and Jade from first marriage.
The Day Job: “Running my private investigation business.”
In Another Life: “I’d love to have been a chef, or to be a flautist in an orchestra.”
Favourite Writers: Patricia Gibney; Louise Phillips.
Second Book: “I’m going to finish the crime novel based on the cases I’ve been involved in.”
Top Tip: “If you want to write, write, and don’t be held back by your standard of English. Just tell your story.”
The Debut: The Making of a Detective. Penguin Ireland: €17.99. Kindle: €10.94.
In this beautifully written memoir Pat takes the reader through his career, including the O’Reilly and Rynn cases, showing just what it takes to become a detective with integrity. It’s a fascinating insight into the intricacies of solving some of Ireland’s most notorious murders. Pat always kept the victim and families centre stage.
The Verdict: An absolute must read, and as page turning as a crime novel.
Published in The Irish Examiner on 26th October.
© Sue J Leonard. 2019