A former rally driver and farmhand from West Cork is now at the top of Ireland’s fight against cybercrime, heading up the increasingly busy national economic crime bureau
FROM the green fields of Drimoleague to the forefront of the country’s fight against cybercrime, fraud and all the other forms of white collar crime, Detective Chief Supt Pat Lordan has come a long way during his 35 years with An Garda Síochána.
Lordan, who heads up the Garda national economic crime bureau, grew up with his mother Francis (Francie), his father Dan, and his three brothers and four sisters, just outside Drimoleague.
‘My dad was Dan Lordan, he was a council lorry driver and he always told us that he probably tarred most roads in West Cork for the first time,’ Pat told The Southern Star.
Pat’s father, who was originally from Enniskeane, tragically died in 1988 at the age of 59 leaving his mother, who hailed from Toormore, with eight children.
‘My mother, who died in February 2020, was a bit of legend in the local community. She worked as a home help right up to age of 70. In fact, when she was told she needed some home help herself, she said she couldn’t because she was the home help for three people!’ Pat said.
Pat’s schooldays in Drimoleague were overshadowed by what was, and still is, the longest running school strike in the history of the state.
‘I had a very famous ending to my school days in Drimoleague in 1976 and, to our detriment, we lost three months of schooling due to the school strike,’ Pat said.
‘So we had a very long summer, working with farmers and having a great time.’
Pat then headed to Dunmanway to continue his education with the Daughters of Charity nuns at the Maria Immaculata Secondary School.
‘I got a job in the convent farm and with that came the privilege of going to the creamery with Rory the horse every day, up through the town with the churns on the back of a cart,’ Pat remembered.
‘I even did my driving test in the nuns’ car!’
This loan of the car by the nuns paid off in later years as Pat went on to take part in rallying in West Cork.
‘One of my greatest feats in the rallying side of things was when I won the West Cork Rally with Donal O’Donovan in 1998,’ Pat said.
Then, when Pat completed his Leaving Cert in 1981, he moved on to the Regional Technical College, or the Munster Technical University as it is now, in Bishopstown.
‘I did a couple of years of business studies and then I got a job in Spiralux in Skibbereen,’ Pat said.
‘After that I got a job as a trainee assistant manager with Dunnes Stores in Ballyvolane in Cork city and then in 1986, just like everybody of my vintage did in those days, I applied for An Garda Síochána and headed off to Templemore.
‘My first posting was to Tallaght. It’s a great part of Dublin and I volunteered for the first community policing unit that was set up there,’ Pat said.
From there Pat served with the drugs unit in Tallaght and then in 1992 he was promoted to detective and transferred to the fraud squad for four years. Then Pat returned to Tallaght as a detective with the serious crime squad.
Pat was promoted once again in 2006 when he was appointed detective inspector in charge of the detective unit and the drug unit, during some of the high profile cases of the time.
‘In 2008 I was sent to Thurles as a superintendent for three years,’ Pat said.
‘I enjoyed working in the country, it was very different in so many ways to working in Dublin city.’
Following his time in Thurles, Pat moved back to Dublin where he took the post as the detective superintendent responsible for the eastern region of the country.
‘It was in 2016 that I was appointed to head up the national economic crime bureau,’ Pat said.
‘Our work is constantly changing and we are constantly updating our skills to count the number of scams that are turning up as emails, with text messages and voice messages.’
‘There is something everybody out there in our communities must know and be aware of, that is that nobody, the banks, the post office, the Revenue or any other financial or government institution or department will ask you for your personal details in a text or over the phone or in an email.
‘My advice is to shop locally first, where you can, and never give your details to anyone online, or by text or over the phone.
‘I would like to see more community groups, home help, community councils, tidy towns, meals on wheels, and others helping out the vulnerable in our communities when it comes to all these scams. Let’s stop sending money to criminals.’
Even with his busy career, Pat gets home to West Cork as often as he can.
‘I get down about once a month as my family, my brothers and sister are within 25 miles of our home place.
‘I love hill walking and where else would you want to go for that?
‘It’s only when you are away for West Cork for any length of time that you realise just how beautiful the place is and just how lucky we are to have it,’ Pat said.