‘brave’ | 

Garda head pays tribute to Detective Adrian Donohoe on 10th anniversary of his murder

In October 2020, Aaron Brady was sentenced to 40 years for the capital murder of the Detective Garda and 14 years for robbery

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

Aaron Brady

The scene of the shooting

Sunday World

The head of the Garda representative body, the AGSI, has paid tribute to their “brave” colleague, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, on the anniversary of his murder 10 years ago.

Taking to Twitter, the General Secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants & Inspectors, Antoinette Cunningham, wrote: “Remembering today our brave colleague Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe murdered on duty on this day 10 years ago at Lordship Credit Union, Dundalk, Co Louth.”

She added the hashtag #lestweforget in reference to “those brave colleagues gone before us in the line of duty”.

Det Garda Donohoe who was just 41, had been on armed escort duty when he was killed with a shotgun blast after he confronted raiders during the raid on January 25, 2013.

Aaron Brady

In October 2020, Aaron Brady was sentenced to 40 years for the capital murder of the Detective Garda and 14 years for robbery.

At his sentencing hearing victim impact statements were heard by the court, including from his wife Caroline.

"I will never recover from what I had to see at Lordship that night," she said in the statement to the court.

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"Sometimes I can't get the images out of my mind."

She said there were "absolutely no words" to express the impact of the murder on her and their children.

They will miss having their daddy at all the firsts in their lives.

A victim impact statement from Det Gda Donohoe's parents Hugh and Peggy Donohoe was read to the court by his father. He struggled to fight back tears as he paid tribute to his son.

"He brought so much joy to our lives.

"He never forgot his mother's birthday or Mother's Day.

"He was as good a son as you could ask for. We miss him every day," he said.

He said his son would like to surprise them, including by bringing his siblings home from abroad for a surprise 60th.

"It's hard to believe that such a good man came across such evil that night.

"From that day forward, it's impossible to find joy in life."

The court also heard a statement from Det Gda Donohoe's partner Det Gda Joe Ryan about the devastating impact the murder had on him and his career.

The raiders pointed a gun at the garda and threatened to kill him.

"I had no doubt they were going to kill me," his statement read to the court said.

He got vivid flashbacks of the night, couldn't sleep and was eventually diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that ultimately forced him to retire 10 years early from An Garda Síochana.

The scene of the shooting

It was the prosecution's case that Brady fired the fatal shot during the raid at Lordship credit union in Dundalk, Co Louth, on January 25, 2013.

He denied this and claimed he was moving laundered diesel waste cubes at a yard in south Armagh at the time.

However, following a 28-week trial, the jury of seven women and five men returned guilty verdicts on counts of capital murder and robbery.

Speaking at the time, Justice Minister Helen McEntee said the murder of Det Garda Donohoe was an "attack on this State".

She said: "I don’t think anything can make up for the suffering and the loss that the family and friends of Det Garda Donohoe have felt and they are all in our thoughts today.

"The pain that his wife Caroline, his children Niall and Amy, his siblings, his family, his wider community, that can never be erased by a sentencing or conviction".

She said Det Garda Donohoe is "a perfect example of what is good about this country" adding that he "worked tirelessly in serving his community and this State."

"The capital murder of an honourable, hardworking member of An Garda Síochána is an assault and attack on this State

Ms McEntee commended the Gardaí, PSNI and members of the community and other agencies that ensured justice was done.

She said: "I know that they continue their work in order that more people are brought to justice but I think today shows the determination of the State and its defenders in succeeding in this regard.

"I hope particularly for his family, many of whom I defenders of the State in An Garda Síochána that this is some solace to them."

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