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Sunday 29 November 2015

‘Cloud over community’ as wake at home held for murdered garda

Published 29/01/2013 | 14:30

FAMILY, friends and colleagues of Detective Adrian Donohoe have paid their respects to the murdered garda in a wake at his home.

A long line of people arrived to give their condolences to his widow Caroline and the couple's young children Amy and Niall before the front door of their large detached home opened at noon.

PJ Stone, of the Garda Representative Association, former garda commissioner Noel Conroy, senior detectives, and local posties and firefighters were among the first to visit the family in Lordship, near Dundalk, Co Louth.

A green and white chequered flag, the colours of Det Donohoe's beloved St Patrick's Gaelic Football Club, flew at half mast in the neat estate, nestling in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains. A blanket of mist and fog covered the sweeping hills.

Fr Tommy McNulty, from nearby Cooley Parish, said the local community had been marvellous, giving Ms Donohoe and her family great comfort.

"It's terrible. Very sad," he said as he visited the family.

"People just don't know what to say, there's a cloud over the whole community. People are just very down. People just don't know what to say to one another.

"It was so sudden and so much sadness for his wife and their children and the family."

Det Donohoe was a 41-year-old whose wife Caroline was also a member of An Garda Siochana. Both worked out of Dundalk Garda Station.

He was shot in the head on Friday night by a gang as they stole €4,000 from the Lordship Credit Union.

Roads near the crime scene at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, which is about a mile and a half from the detective's home, reopened today as investigations continue.

Senior gardai are understood to be closing in on the armed gang, whose getaway car was found burnt out across the border in south Armagh.

Final preparations are under way for Det Donohoe's state funeral tomorrow, which President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Justice Minister Alan Shatter are expected to attend.

After the wake at the family home in Lordship, the detective's body will be taken to Joseph's Redemptorist Church in Dundalk for a funeral at 12.30pm tomorrow.

As his remains are taken to Lordship Cemetery for burial, he will pass Dundalk Garda Station and be given a guard of honour by fellow members of St Patrick's who will also carry his coffin the kilometre from the club to the graveyard.

Books of condolences remain open around the country, including at Dundalk Garda Station, St Patrick's, the Mansion House in Dublin and in Limerick.

At the scene of the credit union shooting, where roads reopened to the public for the first time since Friday, floral tributes have been left by Detective Donohoe's family.

His wife, Caroline, and children, Amy and Niall, left a bouquet of lilies and roses with a simple message: "Adrian, beloved husband and Dad. Dearly loved by Caroline, Amy, Niall."

His parents, Peggy and Hugh Donohoe, also left flowers with a note: "Our darling Adrian, you will never be forgotten. Love Mammy and Daddy."

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