ONE year on the grief runs deep, the loss remains overwhelming, and the memory of a young man cut down in his prime still haunts family, friends, and colleagues.
Yesterday was a time for remembering Adrian Donohoe, shot dead with the most cold-blooded intent by a ruthless cross-border criminal gang.
His widow, Caroline, and their two children, Amy and Niall, aged seven and six at the time of their father's murder, attended a commemorative Mass in St Joseph's Redemptorist church in Dundalk.
It was the scene of Garda Donohoe's State funeral last year, when leaders of Church and State joined with his kith and kin to say goodbye. Many of those at last night's special Mass wept quietly as they remembered Adrian's all-too-short life.
Attendees included Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, who once again offered his sympathy to Caroline.
She was flanked throughout by her two children, whose lives have been irrevocably changed by events they are still too young to fully understand.
They held the hands of their mother as well-wishers came from all sides to express their sorrow at the murder of the first garda to die in the line of duty since 1996.
Fr Eamon Hoey encapsulated the feelings of many as he addressed the congregation. "As we share the revulsion of the evil of such atrocities, let us value and appreciate the importance of an Garda Siochana maintaining a civilised society," he said.
"We honour Adrian's life and his sacrifice. We will remember him best if we imitate his happy character and his love for his wife and children. But we can also remember him by imitating his bravery."
Also there were Adrian's Garda colleagues, who had travelled from all over Ireland.
They provided a sombre reminder that An Garda Siochana must remain the bulwark to ensure the forces of good triumph over the darkness of evil.