THOUSANDS of people will pay their respects this morning at a state funeral for Det Gda Adrian Donohoe.
President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Justice Minister Alan Shatter and other dignitaries are expected to join his widow Caroline - herself a garda - their children Amy and Niall, other family, friends and colleagues in the Lordship area and at St Joseph's Redemptorist Church in nearby Dundalk for the service.
After the service starting at 12.30pm, Det Gda Donohoe will be buried about a mile from his home in Lordship Cemetery.
The family held an open wake at their home for several hours yesterday where hundreds of people queued to express solidarity throughout the day.
Well-liked and respected locally through his links to the local Gaelic Athletic Association club, St Patrick's, Det Donohoe had not been rostered to work on Friday but went on duty as a favour and acted as an escort for cash collections at local, rural credit unions.
His funeral is expected to be one of the biggest in the country for years.
The town of Dundalk and much of Co Louth and further afield is likely to come to a standstill for the funeral with scores of garda colleagues to form a guard of honour in the town.
The detective's coffin will pass by the station where he was based with his wife Caroline in Dundalk.