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Death of Garda Adrian Donohoe: Expressions of Sympathy (Continued)

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 790 No. 1

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  5 o’clock

(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Micheál Martin: Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin] The least we can offer to his son, Niall, and his daughter, Amy, is our deep sorrow and full unwavering support. The deep, irreplaceable loss which his family has suffered is felt by his colleagues in the force, not just in his station at Dundalk but also across the entire country. Those who wear the uniform of An Garda Síochána are bound together by the ethos of service that defines it. They stand guard against those who would plunge us into chaos. In the darkness of Friday night that entire force felt the loss of a brave member who gave his life in that duty. It is a testament to the resilience and determination of its members in the face of such tragedy that they have rallied around their fallen colleague to strive to bring the perpetrators to justice. Officers cancelled leave and came to work on their days off, while gardaí across the country have offered their help in pursuing the case. These actions stand as a reminder that the force will never be cowed by thugs. Detective Garda Joe Ryan's return to work to help the investigation in the aftermath of witnessing the callous murder of his colleague is a tribute to Detective Donohoe's character and the strength of fraternity in the force.

I offer Garda Commissioner Callinan and the members of the force our condolences. In his home area of Lordship, the town of Dundalk and his family home area of Kilnaleck, County Cavan the local communities are reeling from the shock of such a brutal loss. Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe embodied the best traditions of community engagement. For him, public service was not simply a job but a way of life. His contribution to local life outside his work with An Garda Síochána will be sorely missed by those whose lives he enriched. The people who knew him, played football with him, coached and mentored by him face an immense void at the heart of their communities.

Seventeen years ago the country was appalled by the barbaric murder of Jerry McCabe by the IRA in Adare, County Limerick who died in the line of duty protecting us from the armed thugs whose agenda was greed, murder and chaos. Adrian Donohoe died in defending us against that same dark agenda, protecting a community bank where ordinary people put away their hard and fairly earned money and helped to support other members. Those who committed the crime attacked the very principles of law and order on which the State is founded. The security and stability of society are upheld by the men and women of An Garda Síochána who have pledged to defend it against those who mean us harm. An attack on them is an attack on the people; it is an attack on all of us. We must stand behind those who stand up for us against the scourge of violent criminality.

The name of Adrian Donohoe will now join that of Jerry McCabe and many others on the walls of the cenotaph memorial at Garda Headquarters, alongside those members of the force who paid the ultimate price. Let us all work together to ensure the families they left behind are cared for, that those with blood on their hands face the full rigour of justice and the State they died defending justifies their sacrifice.

Deputy Gerry Adams: Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams Ba mhaith liom mo chomhbhrón ó chroí a dhéanamh do chairde, do theaghlach agus do chomhghleacaithe an bhleachtaire Garda Adrian Donohoe. Aontaím leis an méid a dúirt an Taoiseach, an Tánaiste agus ceannaire Fhianna Fáil. On my own behalf, I extend my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. On behalf of Sinn Féin, I express especially our solidarity and sincerest condolences to Adrian's wife, Caroline, and his children, Amy and Niall. This killing has shocked the entire community, especially in the very closely knit Cooley area in County Louth, in south Armagh and across the island. I did not know Adrian Donohoe personally, but I know many people who did and I have spoken to them in recent days. He was a valued and widely respected member of our local community and An Cumann Lúthcleas Gael and was involved in all aspects of life in that beautiful area where there is a deep sense of loss and shock in every family.

The death of Garda Donohoe has also provoked memories of the killing of Garda Jerry McCabe and the wounding of Garda Ben O'Sullivan in June 1996. I apologise to Mrs. McCabe and the McCabe family, Garda Ben O'Sullivan and the families of other members of the State forces who were killed by republicans in the course of the conflict. I am very sorry for the pain and loss inflicted on these families. No words of mine can remove that hurt and dreadful deeds cannot be undone. However, I restate that the resolve of Sinn Féin and the majority of Irish people is to ensure there will never, ever be a recurrence of conflict. Members of An Garda Síochána do a dangerous job and take risks for all of us. Adrian Donohoe showed great courage when he confronted armed criminals at Lordship. He died in defence of other citizens. Once again, I appeal to everyone and anyone with any information on this crime to co-operate with the Garda or the PSNI. I hope those responsible are speedily brought to justice. My thoughts and prayers are with Adrian's family and colleagues at this very difficult time. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Deputy Mattie McGrath: Information on Mattie McGrath Zoom on Mattie McGrath I, too, express my sympathy and that of the Independent Deputies to Caroline, his wife, and the family and Garda colleagues of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe whose loss is an unspeakable tragedy. It is a very sad day for the country. The news broke last Friday night that the life of one of those charged with serving and protecting citizens - with his Garda colleague, Garda Joe Ryan - was taken violently in the course of his duty. The callous taking of the life of a member of An Garda Síochána is a most serious attack on the institutions of the State. The reaction of all right-thinking people and An Garda Síochána since last Friday night has displayed that revulsion. People by the thousand are signing books of condolence. I call on all right-thinking people in every community in the country, North and South, who have the interests of our democracy and the State at heart to reflect on what happened. This event may be the catalyst which will instill in the minds of the people that An Garda Síochána, in the main an unarmed force and which wishes to remain that way, cannot survive and do its job without the support of the public. It is a two-way street. I encourage every right-thinking citizen to get involved in his or her community, whether in Neighbourhood Watch or Community Alert, and banish the word "informer" from our vocabulary forever. We should give all possible assistance to An Garda Síochána.

We have seen that the community has lost a special man. Not only did he serve An Garda Síochána, but he was also an exemplary community man who epitomised the best ideals of An Garda Síochána. He served his country, community and family. Above all, he shared his skills and talents with others, young and old. He was a keen listener and sportsman. He was an excellent member of An Garda Síochána who could get results and was of the community, worked in the community and supported the community. I hope the loss to his family can be overcome. I hope also that this House will ensure his sacrifice will not have been in vain by providing An Garda Síochána with the resources and support it deserves and expects. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Alan Shatter): Information on Alan Shatter Zoom on Alan Shatter Just after 9.30 p.m. last Friday night I was shocked and horrified when I received a call to inform me that a brave young Garda, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, had been brutally murdered while protecting the community.

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