Murdered det Donohoe the 'perfect role model'
Murdered garda detective Adrian Donohoe was a virtuous man who was a perfect role model for the rest of society, his state funeral heard today.
Thousands of mourners endured sleet and near freezing temperatures to pay their respects to Det Donohoe, who was killed as he confronted a gang of men at the Lordship credit union in Co Louth, near his home on the Cooley peninsula on Friday night.
Chief celebrant Michael Cusack, rector of St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church, told the service no one could adequately put into words the pain suffered by his wife Caroline – herself a garda – and their two young children, children Amy, seven, and Niall, six.
In heartbreaking scenes, Amy took to the altar the mobile phone she used to phone her father to say goodnight when he was on duty, and the television remote control she used to hide from him.
Niall took a football that he used to play with with his father as well as his favourite Manchester United jersey.
Michael Cusack said Mr Donohoe was a loyal, honest, virtuous and faithful man who laid down his life for his community.
“The whole country is gutted by what has happened,” he said.
Mr Cusack said the murdered detective was the perfect role model for everybody and the callous mowing down of his innocent life was a reminder that there was good and evil.
“So many people today no longer offer their services freely to the community but Adrian always did,” he said.
The rector told Mr Donohoe’s wife there were no words that could bring her husband and the father of her children back, but he hoped the support of her family, friends as well as colleagues in the Garda and the GAA would give her some comfort.
Streets around the church came to a standstill as up to 1,500 members of the public stood shoulder to shoulder with 2,500 uniformed gardaí. Such was the overflow, it could not be accommodated in a massive outdoor marquee and parish hall that were opened up for the funeral.
President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, several senior government ministers and Cardinal Sean Brady were among scores of dignitaries who came from throughout the country, on both sides of the border, to pay their respects.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan spoke towards the end of the funeral and reassured mourners that the killers will be found.
“No words can adequately express the great sense of loss and revulsion felt by the Donohoe family, the family of An Garda Síochána and indeed the wider public in learning about the cold-blooded murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe last Friday night,” he said.
“We, Adrian’s colleagues, are committed to ensuring that we bring the perpetrators responsible for this callous crime to justice.
“Our resolve is strengthened by the overwhelming support from the President of Ireland, the Government and members of the public.”
The Commissioner praised the public for the outpouring of solidarity seen right across the country with messages of sympathy and support being sent to police in stations in every county and online.
“To the local community in the Dundalk and Cooley peninsula, we are forever in your debt for the outstanding generosity you have shown to the Donohoe family and An Garda Siochana at this most difficult time,” he said.
“Adrian, Detective Garda, husband, father, son, brother, colleague, community leader, GAA man, friend, we will never forget you.”
Det Donohoe, murdered as he escorted staff with cash from the credit union, is the first police officer shot dead in Ireland for 17 years since garda Jerry McCabe was gunned down by an IRA gang in a post office raid in Adare, Co Limerick.
Mr McCabe’s wife Ann joined mourners in Dundalk today.
A reward of €50,000 has been offered for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of the gang involved in Mr Donohoe’s murder.
The money was put forward by the Irish League of Credit Unions, which represents credit unions across the island of Ireland.