VETERAN Larne police officer Noel Rogan is set to retire next month after a career spanning 30 years.
Inspector Rogan, who first entered the RUC as a 19-year-old in Enniskillen, has been stationed in his home town of Larne for the past 12 years.
And in a farewell letter addressed to Larne Council, he spoke of his part in helping to transform the town from “a sectarian hot spot” into a “safe and wonderful place to live”.
Announcing that he will be stepping down on September 19, Insp Rogan recounted his service in Larne and the highs and lows during that time.
He stated: “When I arrived, the town was in a time of great difficulty and known as the sectarian hot spot in Northern Ireland. I am thankful that we no longer live in this hate-filled environment and I would like to think that I helped put my shoulder to the wheel, pushing Larne forward for the right reasons.
“The last 12 years have been the most enjoyable of my career and also some of the most difficult. My family have felt the full force of the bad times, but we all understood and accepted the sacrifices to be made.
“Larne is my home town and will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Insp Rogan also took the opportunity to thank his “old and trusted friends” on Larne Council, including Councillor Bobby McKee and Alderman Jack McKee. “There are some who are no longer with us, but my thoughts are always with them,” he added.
At the recent monthly meeting of Larne Council, Ald McKee paid tribute to Insp Rogan and said the town owed him “a great debt” for his services over the years.
“He could have gone elsewhere, but he chose to stay here because he was a Larne man,” he added. “What Insp Rogan did was invaluable and he worked tirelessly to bring the trouble to an end and bring groups together.
“I propose we have a special night for him, as it would be remiss of us not to show our appreciation for all he has done.”
Larne Mayor Cllr Gerardine Mulvenna told members she would be happy to have a small reception in the Mayor’s Parlour, and Ald Roy Beggs felt Insp Rogan was “worthy” of a Larne Borough Council plaque.
Cllr Gregg McKeen also suggested that the council could look into the possibility of granting Insp Rogan the Freedom of the Borough.