Brothers to go on trial charged with shooting garda in US
Two brothers charged with shooting and robbing a garda while he was on holidays in the US last year are due to go on trial in June.
Tipperary-born garda Brian Hanrahan (30) was shot once in the chest and once in the leg visiting New Orleans with his father, Brian snr.
He was found by police at 5.40am on January 27, lying injured in the driveway of a house.
Melvin P Galle jnr (40) and his brother Keith M Galle (33) were both charged with attempted second-degree murder and armed robbery.
Melvin Galle, Jr (left) and his brother Keith
They are being held in prison in New Orleans and court authorities have confirmed to the Herald that Melvin Galle's trial will commence on June 14, while the trial date of Keith Galle will begin a week later on June 21.
"Both men will be tried before the Honourable Arthur Hunter," said a court spokeswoman. "They will be tried separately even though it relates to the same case."
Mr Hanrahan, a married father-of-one, required surgery to remove a bullet from his body after the shooting.
He had to spend time in hospital afterwards and his wife Emma and mother Rosemary flew over to the US to be at his bedside.
Originally from Killenaule in Co Tipperary but stationed at Newcastlewest, Co Limerick, Mr Hanrahan told police that he met one of the suspects who brought him to the area from the historical French Quarter of the city, telling the tourist that he knew where they could get a drink.
The victim said that he went to an ATM and withdrew $200 (€175).
When they reached the 2200 block of New Orleans Street, about two miles north of the French Quarter, a second man approached Hanrahan and asked him for cash.
When Hanrahan refused, the suspect shot him, took his money and fled.
The arrests were made by the violent offenders warrant squad of the New Orleans Police Department and the US Marshals Task Force.
Police had offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects and attributed the apprehension of the men to "solid police work coupled with cooperation from the community".
The African-American Galle brothers were arrested days later by police on Laharpe Street in the city, less than a mile from the scene of the shooting.
Hanrahan returned home weeks later and thanked the medical staff in the US hospital, and the police department, for their help.
"I would like to thank all of the staff at LSU Hospital in New Orleans, they are an amazing team and I would not be here today without them.
"I would like to express my gratitude to the New Orleans Police Department, the Emerald Society and the people of New Orleans. Their kindness and generosity will never be forgotten both by me and my family," he added.
Hanrahan also thanked his colleagues in An Garda Siochana and "the amazing community in Newcastle West for their support and well wishes".
"Obviously I have a long road ahead with pain management and rehabilitation but I am hopeful that these will be effective and I can get back to my normal life," he said.