By Paul Craven
John Mallon was born on the 10th of May 1839, near Meigh, a small village in the Parish of Killeavy, County Armagh. He was the eldest child of Thomas Mallon, a tenant farmer, and his wife, Judith (nee Connolly).
He was educated at the local National School, and, later at Newry Model School, after which he was apprenticed to a draper for three years. However, he was bored with his trade, and, in 1858, he travelled to Dublin to enlist in the Royal Engineers (of the British Army).
But, as this Regiment had no need for an apprentice draper, his application was rejected.
But, then, the disappointed teenager accidentally met a fellow Armagh man who happened to be an influential landlord. He used his influence to enlist the young John Mallon in the Dublin Metropolitan Police, which policed Dublin City.
For policing purposes, Dublin was divided into six divisions to each of which one of the first six letters of the alphabet, ‘A’ to ‘F’, was assigned. Mallon was first assigned as a Third Class Constable in ‘F’ Division (Kingstown, now Dun Laoghaire) in 1858.
Later, he was transferred as a Second Class Constable to ‘B’ Division (College Street) before being transferred back to the ‘F’ Division.