American police officers have donated nearly €2,000 to the family of Garda Brian Hanrahan who was shot and seriously injured in a botched street robbery in New Orleans.
The off duty Garda had been on holiday with his father Brian Snr, a bus driver, when he was shot twice last Tuesday.
Garda Hanrahan's wife Emma Holland, and his mother Rose, who have travelled to the US to help aid his recovery, were met off a plane yesterday at Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, by members of the New Jersey State and Port Authority Police Benevolent Associations (PAPBA).
The group handed the Hanrahan family a debit card for $2,000 to help pay for their unexpected travel costs and or any associated hospital bills.
Garda Hanrahan and his wife, both natives of the Killenaule area in South Tipperary, were recently married and celebrated the birth of their first child Mia two years ago. They both work and live in Newcastle West, Co Limerick.
In symbolising the historic bond among Irish American officers, a contingent of police at Newark Airport offered their prayers and financial support to the Hanrahan family.
Local officers met Ms Holland and her mother in law when they arrived in Newark at about 11:30am local time Thursday, on the first leg of their anxious journey to New Orleans to be at Garda Hanrahan's hospital bedside.
The police contingent presented them with a debit card worth $2,000 collected from the New Jersey State and Port Authority Police Benevolent Associations, and their Police Unity Tour cycling groups.
“It’s just a showing of good will for police worldwide," said Officer Frank Conti, financial secretary for the Port Authority PBA, who was one of the waiting party at the airport.
"We're just trying to show the family of this guy who ended up getting robbed and shot that we still do our best to stick together and help each other as best we can," he told nj.com.
Garda Hanrahan, 30, was shot in the leg and spine and his wallet was taken early on Tuesday morning near the city's French Quarter, after he withdrew around €200 cash from an ATM.
Police have issued CCTV footage and the descriptions of two men seen by security cameras near the scene.
"The unprecedented international turnout of law enforcement officers for the recent funerals of two New York City police officers, who were assassinated in the line of duty, demonstrates that this is a family that sticks together as one," said Paul Nunziato, President of the PAPBA, who said local police were proud to support Garda Hanrahan and his family.
The Limerick-based Garda underwent surgery on Wednesday to have a bullet removed from his lower back. He remains in intensive care but is reported to be in a stable condition.
Colleagues at Newcastle West Garda station have also provided assistance to Garda Hanrahan's loved ones in their hour of need.
A coffee morning is to be held at Henry Street Garda station, where the injured Garda was stationed prior to moving to Newcastle West five years ago, on February 4th.
All funds raised at the event will go directly to the stricken officer, who has an uncertain future career path in front of him.