independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Caroline's tribute to her 'best friend'

Caroline Donohoe, wife of the late Garda Detective Adrian Donohoe, accepts the Rehab People of the Year award on his behalf from GAA legend Michael O Muircheartaigh at the awards ceremony in the CityWest Hotel, Dublin, on Saturday.

THE wife of murdered Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe spoke for the first time about the devastating loss of the man she called 'the love of my life' as she accepted a People of the Year award on his behalf.

THE wife of murdered Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe spoke for the first time about the devastating loss of the man she called 'the love of my life' as she accepted a People of the Year award on his behalf.

Garda Caroline Donohoe spoke at the glittering ceremony in Dublin on Saturday night.

The award was presented by GAA commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh who was moved to make contact with the Donohoe family after Adrian's death on January 25.

Garda Donohoe was posthumously awarded the People of the Year Award for his bravery and fearlessness as a local Detective Garda at the heart of the community in Dundalk.

On Friday, January 25, this year, Detective Garda Donohoe and his colleague were at the Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan.

On duty to accompany staff in a cash transfer from the credit union to the bank, Detective Garda Donohoe investigated a disruption to the process and was callously shot in the head without warning by the raiders.

There was an outpouring of anger and collective grief across the nation that such a cruel murder could take place.

Thousands of mourners attended garda Donohoe's funeral to pay their respect and show support for his wife Caroline and their young children.

In an emotional tribute to her husband, which was screened at the ceremony on Saturday night, Caroline Donohoe spoke publicly for the very first time about the tragic loss and the phenomenal support she received.

'Coming out of the church [after the funeral] and walking behind Adrian, I felt I was walking behind my best friend. I was surrounded by my friends and that's what kept me going.'

'I had received thousands and thousands of letters, and I got letters on days when I needed them most. They were just beautiful, and there is no way I could individually thank them.'

About the reaction to the funeral which saw thousands of gardaí line the streets of Dundalk and thousands of ordinary people turn out in support, Caroline said:

'I am so humbled by it, that people thought so much of him, to do that for us. The people of Lordship and Dundalk, and my Garda colleagues, there is nothing that they wouldn't do for us.'

She explained how she had first met Adrian Donohoe when she went to join An Garda Siochana in 1994.

'We both went to Templemore that day. From the first day we met we clicked, and after a few years we got married in Kilkee.'

A picture of the couple's wedding day showed the Cliffs of Moher in Caroline's native County Clare behind them.

'We have two beautiful children, Amy and Niall. Adrian was the best father any child could have had. There is nothing Adrian wouldn't have done for us, he was just the best in the whole world.

'There was nobody like Adrian. He was the love of my life, and I will miss him every minute of every day, as long as I live.'

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