GARDA MEMORIAL DAY

Garda Remembrance Medal (RTE picture)

Garda Remembrance Medal (RTE picture)

A new name has been added to the Garda roll of honour. It’s that of Detective Garda Adrian Donohue, shot dead during a robbery at Lordship near Carlingford in County Louth in January. At a ceremony on Saturday (May 18th) at Dublin Castle, his widow Caroline received a special medal in his honour. The presentation was made by Justice Minister Alan Shatter, during the annual Garda Memorial Day. Mr Shatter said the brutal murder of Adrian Donohoe was an unspeakable crime and life-changing for his family.

Garda Adrian Donohue

Detective Garda Adrian Donohue

“The addition of Adrian’s name to this roll of honour brings to 87 the number of members who have been killed in the line of duty. It is 87 too many”, the Minister said. He added that the government had expressed their revulsion and deep sadness and on theirs and on his own behalf he extended again his condolences to the detective’s family and to all members of An Garda Síochána.

Garda commissioner Martin Callinan said Adrian Donohoe’s murder was still very raw in their memory and rested very heavy in their hearts. “It is at difficult times such as this that we experience the true meaning of the extended police family through the unending support and overwhelming solidarity offered,” he said. He added that it was tragic that Garda Donohoe’s name had been added to a roll of honour that continued to get longer.

Detective Garda Donohoe, aged 41, was the first member of the Gardaí to be shot dead on duty since the murder of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe in 1996. The getaway car used by the robbery gang was found by the PSNI burnt out in a forest near Keady, County Armagh, days after the killing. Police on both sides of the border have carried out searches and have issued a number of appeals for information.

Memorial at Garda HQ

Memorial at Garda HQ

GARDA ADRIAN DONOHUE RIP

Garda Adrian Donohue

Garda Adrian Donohue

There has been widespread public revulsion at the killing of Detective Garda Adrian Donohue in County Louth. His state funeral is taking place in Dundalk. His remains were removed from his home at 11.30am to St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church in  Dundalk arriving at 1.00pm. The main celebrant will be Fr Michael Cusack, who was with Caroline Donohue and her family until late last night, preparing for the funeral. Following requiem Mass, the cortege will proceed to Lordship Cemetery for burial. It was at Lordship credit union that Garda Donohue was shot dead during a raid by an armed gang on Friday night.

The Irish League of Credit Unions has offered a reward of €50,000 for any information leading to arrests and prosecutions in the case. In the Dáil, the Taoiseach led tributes to the 41 year-old detective, a married man with two young children. The Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said Garda Donohoe had died in the defence of other citizens. He said the death provoked memories of the killing of Jerry McCabe by the IRA in June 1996. He went on to apologise to Mrs McCabe, the McCabe family and to Garda Ben O’Sullivan, who survived the shooting. The Louth TD also apologised to other members of what he called “state forces” who were killed by republicans in the course of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Books of condolences have been opened at many centres including Dundalk Garda station where Garda Donohue was based and the Mansion House in Dublin. The tricolour has been flown at half mast at Garda stations since the shooting. But it will only be lowered today on government buildings and at Aras an Uachtaraín. On Saturday, passing by the Aras, I was surprised the flag had not been lowered as a mark of respect and again when I was there yesterday it flew at its normal position. I was informed that the Department of the Taoiseach decides the protocol. Yet when Garda McCabe was shot dead, the tricolour (or so we are told) did fly at half mast soon after the killing. Today the nation is in mourning for a dedicated servant of the people. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Memorial at Garda HQ Phoenix Park

Memorial at Garda HQ Phoenix Park