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Widow's graceful speech shows the worth of our gardai

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Caroline Donoghue, widow of slain Garda Adrian Donoghue

Caroline Donoghue, widow of slain Garda Adrian Donoghue

Caroline Donoghue, widow of slain Garda Adrian Donoghue

IN THE eight months since Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead by raiders at a credit union in Co Louth, his name has gradually faded from public attention. But this weekend we were eloquently and poignantly reminded about this brave garda brutally killed while doing his duty.

Adrian's wife Caroline, while receiving a posthumous award on his behalf, recalled his many fine qualities as a husband, father, relative, neighbour, and community activist.

She spoke with grace and dignity about the loss of her dearly-loved husband, who was her best friend in life. She spoke of the solace she derived from the support many people throughout the country had shown for her and the family. In the days which followed Det Gda Donohoe's death on January 25 last, we saw a national outpouring of shock and grief. We heard many political pledges of how those responsible would be brought to account, most probably getting 40 years in prison.

At the time, many people could not avoid reflecting that the killers of Detective Jerry McCabe in Adare in 1996 were free long before any would-be 40-year term was up. Gardai who risk their lives and confront dangerous armed criminals are acting for all of Irish society and must be afforded every protection by our society. But that debate may be for another day. For now, the investigation into Adrian's killing continues. Every decent person will hope that those responsible will be apprehended and brought to trial soon.

But we can take heart from the bravery and dignity of his widow, Caroline Donohoe, and keep her and her family in our thoughts as we continue to hope for justice in this matter.

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