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Meet Honorary Garda Joey Moss

Published 2 years ago 29th August 2021 by Editor

Clonmel’s newest recruit to the Garda force had a birthday to remember this week when he was introduced to all of his new colleagues at a fabulous gathering in Bianconi Drive, Clonmel.
Three year-old Joey Moss pictured in his new Garda patrol car
Joey with his parents Patrick and Dervla at his nanny Helen’s house in Bianconi Drive

Honorary Garda Joey Moss, who turned three on Tuesday, was provided with his introduction pack and new patrol vehicle by Clonmel Community and Regular unit members and all of his new colleagues in the Emergency Services, Tipperary Fire & Rescue, the National Ambulance Service, the Irish Coast Guard from Dunmore East and Bonmahon and the Civil Defence.

It was a special day for young Joey, who’s energy and enthusiasm for life, masks the severity of the heart complaint that has required several operations.

Joey has battled the condition since he was born in Coombe Hospital in 2018. He was moved immediately to Our Lady’s Hospital and was placed under the care of cardiologists. He underwent his first major open heart surgery at just three days old. Joey’s mother Dervla explained to The Premier that his heart condition was present at birth.

“Joey has hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). It’s a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As Joey developed during pregnancy, the left side of his heart didn’t form correctly. We were told his condition was very serious and we knew he would need surgery just days after being born.”

Joey and his mother Dervla can’t contain their excitement as the emergency services arrive in Bianconi Drive

Unfortunately Joey’s first open heart surgery wasn’t a complete success and five months later he was back in surgery to have a stent fitted.

However, the stent wasn’t successful either and young Joey had to undergo a second major open heart surgery before he was six months old. In fact, he would spend his very first Christmas in hospital.

But at last there was some positivity for Joey, his parents and his relatives. The surgery appeared to be a success, and he continued to thrive over the next 18 months.

“He was doing great,” said his mother Dervla. “He was like any normal two-year-old boy, full of fun and games and he was just full of life. Unfortunately though everything wasn’t right and he gradually began to regress. In April of this year it had become very apparent that his health was deteriorating and in June we were called to say that Joey was to have his final open heart surgery.”

Regretfully however, his team of cardiologists had to abandon the eight-hour operation after just two hours.

“It was the call that no parent wants to receive. His heart function and lung pressure reached alarming levels and the surgeon had to abandon the operation. It was heartbreaking and very difficult to take. That evening Joey’s team of doctors sat us down and explained that he was no longer a candidate for that type of surgery”


“He has been on a cocktail of drugs since he was born which are basically keeping him alive and helping him to function. They allow him to continue with every day activities. He has now been put on two new high technology drugs that will hopefully reduce the pressure on his lungs. But it’s now a waiting game, the drugs can take from six to 12 months to have an effect so we just have to pray that they work. It’s been an incredibly difficult time for Joey but seeing that big smile on his face today when all the emergency teams arrived with their lights flashing and sirens blaring would give you a huge lift. We can never thank them all enough, it was incredibly

emotional and it really made Joey’s birthday very very special. Garda Fearghal Bolger has been amazing to help arrange everything and we also want to thank Little Blue Heroes who provided the electric garda car for Joey. He just loves it.”

The Little Blue Heroes Foundation is a Garda non-for profit organisation that helps families in Ireland who have children with serious illness.

Display of flashing lights and sirens

Joey’s mother Dervla had contacted her local garda station in Clonmel hoping that they’d send a patrol car to Joey’s house for his birthday. Garda Fearghal Bolger did what he does best and did some investigating into Joey and felt that one patrol car just wouldn’t do.

“We did some digging and realised that Joey was a massive fan of all things blue lights. With that in mind we decided to give him a huge Emergency Vehicle display to pick up his spirits. The response was great and the Tipperary Fire & Rescue Service, the National Ambulance Service, the Irish Coast Guard from Dunmore East and Bonmahon and the Civil Defence all came on board,” said Garda Bolger.

Posting photographs on their Facebook page, An Garda Síochána Tipperary said “Clonmel Gardaí are delighted to introduce the newest member of their team, meet Honorary Garda Joey Moss.

Facebook users also took to the comment section to send Joey birthday messages and many more wishes.

“Happy birthday Joey and well-done to all the emergency dervices. Times like this everyone supports one another.” one wrote.

While another wished Joey a happy birthday from all at the Defence Forces.

And from everyone here at The Premier, happy birthday Joey and well done to everyone who made this birthday a very special one for a very special little boy.

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