Mr. Mark Gallagher, 1959 - 2010
UN Police (Canada)
Sgt. Mark Gallagher, a national of Canada, was a member of the United Nations Police serving with the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) when the earthquake struck Haiti on 12 January 2010.
A veteran police officer who also was an avid boating enthusiast, Mark garnered 25 years of professional experience in Canada. Before starting his nine-month peacekeeping mission in Haiti, he had most recently served as Media Relations Officer in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police where he had been working since 1998. Prior to that, he worked for the Moncton Police Service in New Brunswick for 14 years.
In 2002, he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Commemorative Medal and the Police Exemplary Service Medal for over 20 years of police service.
Deployed to Haiti in July 2009, Mark worked as Officer in the Haitian National Police (HNP) Development Pillar and was responsible for coordinating HNP needs in MINUSTAH.
Mark was one of 100 Canadian police officers who have served with MINUSTAH.
“This is the first time that a serving Canadian police officer has been killed on active duty in an international peacekeeping operation,” said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an official statement.
“He was a fine officer who always put the welfare of others before himself,” said Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, adding, “It was this selflessness that led him to volunteer in Haiti.”
Described as a “gentle, kind spirit” by those who knew him, Mark went to Haiti to help the less fortunate. He told his colleagues that “the smallest gestures can make all the difference for those living in such extreme poverty.”
Given the day-to-day realities of life in Haiti, Mark had a hard time adjusting to his comfortable lifestyle in Canada during his recent Christmas trip back home, according to those close to him.
Attendees at his funeral were told that “Mark discharged his responsibility with dignity, with respect and with a great deal of compassion.”
Thanks to his honorable service, the Premier of New Brunswick plans to nominate Sgt. Gallagher for the Order of New Brunswick, the province’s highest honour given to individuals who have “demonstrated excellence and achievement and who have made outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of New Brunswick and its residents.”
Mark is survived by his wife Lisa, his son Shane and his daughter Heather.