'I will miss Adrian every minute of every day for the rest of my life'
THE WIFE of hero Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe has paid tribute to her husband as “the best, the whole world”.
Speaking publicly for the first time since her husband’s murder, the mother-of-two accepted an award on his behalf at last night’s People of the Year Awards.
Before she accepted the award, a short film was played in which the hero garda’s wife, family and friends paid moving tributes as well as the huge loss they have suffered.
“Adrian was the best father any child could ever have.
“There was nobody like Adrian and Adrian was the love of my life and I will miss him every minute of every day as long as I live,” Caroline Donohoe.
Det Gda Adrian Donohoe (41) was shot in ambush by raiders as he was escorting cash being collected from the Lordship credit union, outside Dundalk, inJanuary.
Nobody has yet been charged with his murder but inquiries are continuing.
Speaking about his State funeral, which saw thousands of gardai line the streets of Dundalk, Caroline recalled how her friends and garda colleagues kept her going.
“Coming out of the church and walking behind Adrian, I walked behind my best friend.
“And I was surrounded by my friends and that’s what kept me going,” she said.
The grieving widow, who is also a garda, explained how she met Adrian almost 20 years ago when they joined the force.
“I met Adrian in 1994 when I went to join the guards and 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 and we have two beautiful children, Amy and Niall.
“There’s nothing Adrian wouldn’t have done for us. Sure he was just the best, the whole world.”
Since her husband’s shocking murder – the first since the shooting dead of Detective Jerry McCabe in Adare in 1996 – Caroline has been inundated with cards and letters from well-wishers around Ireland and world.
She revealed how such letters have gotten her through times when she really needed the support.
“I have got thousands and thousands of cards and letters.
“And I have got letters on days that I really needed them the most from people and they were just beautiful.
“There is no way I can individually thank all of the people but ... 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 have been phenomenal. There’s nothing that they wouldn’t do for us.”
She thanked the people of Lordship and Dundalk, as well as St Patrick’s GAA Club, for their help and support with Adrian’s funeral.
Adrian’s brother Colm described his older brother as a “big man with the big heart”.
“He had so much to give in life, he had so much more to offer. He was so generous. He was good-natured. So happy.
“He was the big brother in every sense. He was very generous with his advice, with his time.
“He was a guard. I joined the guards. He was a huge influence in his advice that he gave me in making that decision.”
Work colleague Detective Sergeant Darren Kirwan said the father-of-two loved his job and was a role model to younger gardai.
“Adrian was a brilliant guard. He loved his job. I think it was his calling.
“He always wanted to be one and he’d tell you that himself.
“He just loved coming into work every day and he got involved in any investigation that he could and it was all about helping people.
“And he was a great role model for younger guards coming in that were trying to learn the ropes in a big town like Dundalk.
“But if there were things to be done, as I used to say, Adrian would get it done.
“He was absolutely a role model in the job and he is a huge loss to the community here.”
Family friend Pat Finnegan said Adrian had a “great time for everyone and something to say to everyone”.
“He was brilliant. The kids used to love him. He had a great presence with the kids once they’d see him coming, they would be all over to him.
“He was just magic with children.
“I suppose you could call him a gentle giant and it’s an awful pity that he’s gone from us.”
Seamus Savage, a friend and member of St Patrick’s GAA Club, spoke from the Adrian Donohoe Park, a pitch which has been named in honour of the late garda.
“No matter when you came in the gates of this field, the first person you would see was Adrian,” Seamus said.
“And you’d hear him coaxing kids to get the best out of them. Never an angry word out of him, it was always enthusiastic and pushing kids to do their best but never giving out. It was always kind words to them to get the best out of them.
“It’s very hard to believe he’s gone from the community.
“He’s left such a big vacuum in the community and he will never be forgotten. Wherever you are, I hope you Rest In Peace. Thank you,” said an emotional Mr Savage.
Legendary GAA commentator Micheal O Muircheartaigh presented the award last night to Caroline Donohoe at the Rehab People of the Year Awards in Citywest, which were hosted by Grainne Seoige.
“Adrian Donohoe was a family man,” he said.
“Much loved by Caroline, and Niall and Amy , his parents, his brothers and sisters. He will be remembered by the GAA community and the children whom he coached and in turn by their children who go on to play and attend the Adrian Donohoe Park in the Wee County of Louth
“Let the loss of this brave officer remind us lest we forget that there are people there who look out for us without being asked.
“And tonight let’s be proud that we still live in communities that produce people like Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.”
Independent News Service