Tom Connolly was born in Charleville, County Cork, in 1934, the eighth member of a family of thirteen. His father and grandfather were both policemen. He joined the Garda Síochána in 1955, and retired in 1994, having risen to the rank of Detective Superintendent. He has been commended on many occasions for his impartiality and conscientiousness in conducting investigations, and was awarded the Gold Scott Medal for valour in 1975. Tom won senior county football championships with Clonakilty and with Round Towers, Kildare, and played senior inter-county football with both Cork and Kildare for a number of years. Tom’s wife Maureen died in 2008.
He has two sons, both Gardaí, and a daughter. He lives in Naas, County Kildare.