Edmund Gregory

Not Waving But Drowning

Not Waving But Drowning

The Troubled Life and Times of a Frontline RUC Officer


Not Waving But Drowning tells the harrowing true story of one man's childhood struggle against poverty and his subsequent drive to become a policeman in the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

From his earliest days, Edmund Gregory possessed an awareness beyond his years. During the course of his parents' turbulent and doomed marriage, he soaked up the horror of seeing his mother and father tearing each other apart. After they separated, he experienced a lonely boyhood, starved of affection, while living in welfare homes, dingy Belfast bedsits, and a sordid care home for young boys. However, Gregory later found solace in his marriage to Agnes, and in a concerted effort to drag himself and his new family out of poverty, he joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

After five trauma-filled years serving in Belfast's riot squads, Gregory transferred into the somewhat elitist VIP protection branch of the RUC, where he was involved in providing bodyguard protection to many high-threat members of Northern Ireland's establishment. While working within that unit, he was also involved in teams protecting several members of the Royal family and then US President Bill Clinton throughout the course of their visits to the Province.

During his last four years in the force, Gregory was charged with protecting the Reverend Ian Paisley's deputy, Peter Robinson MP, an outspoken personality who was under constant and serious threat of assassination. After 21 years of service, however, Gregory was diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which resulted in his medical retirement.

Not Waving But Drowning is an emotionally charged journey through Gregory’s impoverished childhood and the dark underbelly of his later life as a policeman in Northern Ireland performing what was, according to Interpol, the most dangerous policing role in the world.