Sunday 28 December 2014

Garda who lost wife and son in childbirth shot John Carthy

Published 11/03/2007 | 00:11

JIM CUSACK and CHARLIE MALLON THE husband of the tragic garda who died in childbirth last week was the ERU member who fired the fatal shot which killed John Carthy in the Abbeylara siege.

Today, a tiny Co Louth village will join with a cross-section of the entire Garda force in paying their respects to 34-year-old sergeant Tania Corcoran who lost her life in childbirth.

Her husband, Aidan McCabe, 38, also a member of the force, lost not only his wife, Tania, but also one of their new-born twins, Zach, during the Caesarean section operation.

Doctors were last night still fighting to save the life of the surviving twin.

For the McCabe family it was a second major trauma in their lives. Aidan McCabe, a member of the elite garda Emergency Response Unit, was the man who discharged the fatal bullet which killed John Carthy as he advanced towards officers following the infamous Abbeylara siege.

But the widely admired Garda officer was exonerated in the 744-page Barr tribunal report into the events that led to the death of John Carthy in April 2000.

Judge Robert Barr vindicated ERU officer McCabe, and said in his report: "In all circumstances it is proper to conclude that there was insufficient evidence which might establish that Garda McCabe, on the basis of the information available to him and the circumstances he had to contend with, acted unlawfully in shooting John Carthy."

His wife Tania was five and a half months pregnant with their twins when she died at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on Thursday night.

She was an extremely experienced and popular member of the force according to colleagues and "had designed her career in the Gardai around her family, her husband, two sons and the twins on the way ".

Originally from Louisburgh in Co Mayo she had 14 years' service and was stationed in Donnybrook before moving on promotion to Ballymun and then Santry.

A full review of the circumstances of her death and treatment is to be carried out by the Health Service Executive, as is normal practice in such cases. An inquest is to be held.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors general secretary Joe Dirwan said: "Every member of the association and indeed of the entire Garda Siochana has been shocked and traumatised by this extremely sad event and our hearts go out to her husband and family. Our thoughts are with them in their time of terrible tragedy."

The removal of Sgt Corcoran's remains takes place from her home at Grange Rath, Drogheda today at 12.15 to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Termonfeckin for Requiem Mass at 1pm. Burial takes place afterwards to Sheetland Road Cemetery, Termonfeckin.

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