When friends Mary Seale from Clonkeen and Timahoe girl Pauline Scully sat together in the tech in Portlaoise, little could they know they would spend most of their lives sitting near each other, firmly cementing their friendship.
After leaving school, the two did their civil service exams together, then both began working as clerical officers in Portlaoise Garda Station, in October of 1970, aged 17. They were the first civilian staff to work there.
Pauline was stationed in the superintendent’s office, and there she was to stay for over 41 years, marrying Dick Donoher, and becoming a mother of five and eventually a grandmother of two boys. She now lives in Ballybrittas.
Mary took a career break from 1978 to ‘86, returning initially to work in Dublin and Nenagh, before coming back to the garda station in 1999. She noticed big changes.
“We started on old typewriters, but everything was computerised when I went back,” said Mary, who now has three sons and two granddaughters.
“We had a brilliant sergeant in charge, Tom Walton, a great guy to work with. I absolutely enjoyed working there,” she said.
A great woman for travelling, she is looking forward to putting up some more air miles, and spending time with her grandchildren, while keeping in close contact with her dear friend Pauline.
“We are planning to go away for a weekend to celebrate our retirement,” said Mary, who is also looking forward to her retirement party on Friday, April 13 in Kavanaghs bar.
“I’m not superstitious, I’m very positive,” laughs Mary.