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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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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn: Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn] The men and women who serve our communities should not have to put on their uniforms in the morning, wave goodbye to their families and wonder whether they will make it home that night. It is important at this time to acknowledge the work they undertake in very difficult circumstances. Adrian Donohoe died while trying to protect his community. I am sure I speak for everyone when I say our thoughts are with his family, his friends, his colleagues and An Garda Síochána at this very sad time. Ar dheis de go raibh a anam.

An Leas-Cheann Comhairle: Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt I call Deputy Finian McGrath, spokesperson for the Technical Group.

Deputy Finian McGrath: Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I thank the Leas-Ceann Comhairle for the opportunity to speak about the sad and horrific murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. That was a sad day for his wife, his children, his family and his Garda colleagues. It is difficult enough in life to lose a wife, husband or partner through illness or natural causes but it is a nightmare to lose a husband, father and colleague through the deliberate ending of life and gunning down of an innocent man like this. My heartfelt and deepest sympathy goes out to all his family.

All human life is special and this grave act of slaying a man while doing his duty is not acceptable in any society. Whether it is a young garda with a young family or a young plumber it is not on - it is not acceptable.

Today at Kevin Heffernan's funeral in Marino, another great GAA man and community man, I expressed my sympathy on the death of Adrian to some of the gardaí on duty. They were devastated. The gardaí in my constituency were still shocked but they told me that they were greatly lifted by the number of people who did what I did in expressing sympathy and support to them. We should never lose sight of that in these difficult and sad times.

Adrian Donohoe's family are in huge pain now. There is a huge loss which they will never get over, and they will never get over the horrific way he was killed last Friday night. Some will blame drugs while some will blame a dysfunctional and violent character. I cannot understand the way Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot down without even a chance. It was a violent and needless act. It was an injustice to Adrian and, above all, it took a husband from his wife and a father from his children. Again, I express my deepest sympathy to all his family and his Garda colleagues.

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd Ba mhaith liom comhbhrón ó chroí ar shon mhuintir Chontae Lú a dhéanamh le clann Adrian. Dúnmharú uafásach é seo a tharla i gContae Lú agus is méala mór a bhás dá chlann go léir agus don tír ar fad. Beidh cuimhne go deo air.

On behalf of all the people of County Louth I would like to offer my sympathy as a representative of that county to the family and particularly the wife and children of the late Detective Garda Donohoe. He has made the supreme sacrifice. He has lost his life in defence of democracy. He has died for us to protect our democracy and we will never forget him and the sacrifice he, and men before him in the Garda Síochána, has made. I think also of Sergeant Patrick Morrissey who was murdered in my county by murderous criminals.

Detective Garda Donohoe will never be forgotten and the hearts of all those in our community go out to him. To paraphrase Yeats, Detective Garda Donohoe was a great man in his prime, confronting murderous men. It is time for all this to end and hopefully it will end it because I am certain, as the Taoiseach and the Minister said, that there will be sentences of a minimum of 40 years for those who have perpetrated this evil and awful crime on this wonderful family and on the Irish people.

Deputy Seamus Kirk: Information on Seamus Kirk Zoom on Seamus Kirk Today we have an opportunity to contribute on what has been a brutal and callous murder in the north east and particularly in County Louth. A detective garda was protecting his local community finances in the credit unions on the Cooley peninsula. As more details emerge, the planning and the ruthlessness of the gang involved becomes clear.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was a much-loved member of the Garda force in north Louth and particularly in the Lordship-Bellurgan area where he lived. His work for the local GAA club, St. Patrick's, was legendary. Coaching, mentoring and fuelling the spirit of the community was par for the course with him. He really was a true Corinthian. His spirit and presence will live forever in the near end of the Cooley peninsula and north Louth. To his wife Caroline and family, his father and mother in Cavan and extended family, and his colleagues in the Garda Síochána we send our sincerest sympathy. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick: Information on Peter Fitzpatrick Zoom on Peter Fitzpatrick I am not speaking on behalf of the Government or Fine Gael or for myself in my role as a Louth Deputy. I just happen to be a Deputy for County Louth, but what I am about to say comes from me personally. I am a proud Louth man and a proud Irish man. I am proud not only to have known Adrian Donohoe but to have considered him a friend.

The recent cold-blooded murder of Adrian transcends politics, sport and even communities. This atrocity has robbed two beautiful children, Amy and Niall, of a father. It has left Caroline without a devoted husband, a community without a selfless member, and a nation in deep shock.

This brutal slaying of a brave Irish citizen has galvanised the nation. In my memory I cannot recall a greater outpouring of grief. The Irish people have responded with dignity and decency - nothing more than I would have expected. My office in Dundalk has fielded calls and e-mails from all corners of Ireland and from as far away as the United States, England and Australia. Every message has been similar with three main themes - condolences to the family; brave Irish men; and, cowards. I wish to say no more on that.

There are certain moments in life when one can remember exactly where one was when one heard of a particular event. Recent examples we can recall include the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York or the tsunami in Asia. These events shocked the world. I will always remember where I was when I heard about Adrian. What happened last Friday shocked this nation. As I look around the House I am sure my colleagues can also recall where they were last Friday. I am sure they can recall the hollow feeling in the pit of their stomachs. It is a feeling that is hard to describe. One feels almost still, empty and more than just stunned. One is more than gutted and shocked. One is empty and in an almost bizarre feeling of irrelevance. Nothing else really matters. That is the way I felt.

The people of Lordship and County Louth and the citizens of Ireland lost someone special last Friday. Adrian was a beacon, a tower of strength, a bastion of goodness. Adrian was a true Gael, a true Irishman. He may have left us but he will never be forgotten. Adrian, I pray we meet again some time. Rest in peace.

Deputy Gerald Nash: Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash Like all my colleagues, I was shocked and saddened by the cold-blooded murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. Every day and night the members of An Garda Síochána selflessly serve the country, sometimes at great risk to themselves. They serve us and protect us, not just as individual citizens. They protect the very fabric of our society and the foundations of our democracy. During the darkest days of the Troubles when some sought to undermine the State the members of An Garda Síochána stood firm. We stood in solidarity with our protectors then. We stand in solidarity and in sadness with all of them now.

We can never repay the debt we owe to Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, his family and his colleagues. We can only humbly acknowledge his bravery and his service. The fatal shooting of Detective Garda Donohoe is an horrific crime and a tragic loss to his family. On my behalf and on behalf of the people who I am proud to represent, may he rest in peace.

  Members rose.


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