Fond tributes paid to Sgt Jim Lawton of the first ‘Bandon Car’

February 5th, 2021 8:00 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Mourners are socially-distanced as the funeral cortege of Sgt Jim Lawton makes its way past the garda station in Bandon on its way to St Patrick’s Church. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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THE late Sgt Jim Lawton who died recently - and was known throughout West Cork due to The Bandon Car song – has been described as a ‘gentleman’ and a man who had great empathy and understanding.

The retired garda died on January 13th at the Fairfield Nursing Home in Drimoleague and it was only fitting that his funeral cortege passed and paused briefly outside Bandon Garda Station ahead of his burial in the town.

Speaking to The Southern Star, Chief Supt Con Cadogan said Jim was synonymous with the Bandon station.

‘He was famous after The Bandon Car song written by the late Kevin Beale and made famous by Jimmy Crowley. Jim was the very first sergeant on the Bandon traffic corps as it was known at the time and they used to be down in Kinsale and Belgooly,’ said Chief Supt Cadogan.

‘Jim was an out-and-out gentleman and a proud family man. He moved around a lot in West Cork and had worked in Ballinspittle, Skibbereen and Bandon.

‘Hailing from Ballymacoda in East Cork he was also a gaeilgeoir, which I found out from his son Tom last week.’

Chief Supt Cadogan said Jim was always in and out of the station and it was fitting that his cortege passed and paused outside the station.

‘They stopped outside for a few minutes and a lot of retired members and current members came out to pay their respects in a socially-distanced way. People also paid their respects to him on and there were some lovely condolences left by numerous members of the public.’

Jim is survived by his wife Eileen, son Tom and daughters Orla and Máire.

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