Shot garda's joy as family fly to his US bedside
A YOUNG garda who was shot in New Orleans on Tuesday morning had an "emotional" reunion with this wife and mother.
Rosemary, the garda's mother, and Emma Hanrahan made their way straight to Brian's hospital bed in University Hospital, after they had arrived at New Orleans Airport on Thursday.
Chief Judge James F McKay III, who was at the hospital at the time visiting Brian and his father, Brian Snr, said the reunion was "very moving".
Judge McKay, who is the honorary Irish consul in Louisiana and can trace his family roots to Tuam and Kinsale, told the Herald: "They came right from the airport before they had even checked in at their hotel.
"That was very emotional so we backed off so they could have some private moments but it was very moving.
"I think he agrees that it's good to be alive, especially after what he's been through."
Judge McKay said he was "very embarrassed" about what happened to the garda, who is based in Newcastle West, Co Limerick, and had been enjoying a holiday in the States with his father.
"When you have guests from out of town, you want to show them the best of your city, and you'd be hoping that Brian and his dad would get to see what we know.
"But every now and then that element comes up but we're working on it," he added.
"When I heard about Brian's situation I rushed to the hospital and saw him just as he came out of surgery.
"The doctors said he was doing very well and about five hours later when I saw him again, he was up and talking.
"I was expecting a lot worse. While it's not a happy ending, it's certainly a joyful situation that he was only hurt and not killed."
When Brian's mother and wife arrived at Newark Liberty Airport on Thursday, en route to New Orleans, they were met by members of the New Jersey State and Port Authority Police officers, who presented them with a voucher for $2,000 they had collected.
Judge McKay said this gesture has been reciprocated by police officers from all over the country, though the Emerald Society, an organisation for American police and firefighters of Irish descent.
Bobby Anderson, president of the New Orleans Emerald Society, said through their network over $3,000 was raised.
He said there had been supported in their efforts by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Irish Network.
"The Hanrahans said they were fine and didn't need anything but I said to them, 'If this happened to one of us in your city, what would you do?'
"They would be doing the exact same thing for us.
"We're just upset this happened to Brian in our city," Mr Anderson said.
The New Orleans Police Department are continuing to investigate the shooting and are looking for two black suspects who were captured on CCTV.