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"Exceptional personal bravery" - Murdered Garda Adrian Donohoe awarded force's highest honour

Adrian Donohoe was shot and killed in the line of duty at Bellurgan, near Dundalk, three years ago.

Garda Adrian Donohoe
Garda Adrian Donohoe

DETECTIVE GARDA ADRIAN Donohoe, who was murdered while on duty in 2013, was posthumously awarded a medal for bravery today.

The Gold Scott Medal for bravery – the highest award that can be conferred on a Garda – was accepted on behalf of Donohoe by his wife Caroline this afternoon at the Garda College in Templemore.

Adrian Donohoe was shot and killed in the line of duty at Bellurgan, near Dundalk, three years ago.

Garda Donohoe, who was licenced to carry a firearm, and was armed on the day of his death, was shot dead outside Lordship Credit Union on the morning of 25 January 2013.

The gang of five involved in the attack escaped the scene with just €4,000.

No one has ever been charged or brought to justice in relation to the incident.

Speaking at the ceremony today, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that the Government would be “unstinting” in its support for gardaí seeking justice for Donohoe.

“In his life and in his work, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe typified the values that characterise what is best about An Garda Síochána – unstinting commitment to family, community and country,” said the minister.

Today’s posthumous award of the Scott Medal to Adrian is a recognition of the exceptional personal bravery, the spirit of determined public service and the utterly fearless dedication to his fellow citizens and to this State that sets gardaí like Adrian Donohoe in a category apart.

Detective Garda Joseph Ryan, who was with Donohoe on the day he was killed, was also awarded a Silver Scott Medal for bravery.

“A very sad day”

Speaking to RTÉ’s The Ray D’Arcy Show, Donohoe’s former colleague and friend retired Detective Garda Richie Cullhane said it was a sad day for his family and the police force.

“It’s a very sad day unfortunately,” said Cullhane.

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“It’s a very proud day for his family but it has to be tinged with sadness.

[Adrian] never expected to encounter such a ruthless organisation or group who in the end would take his life so brutally.

Culhane said a team of gardaí were working hard to bring those involved with his murder to justice. He said gardaí had been given enough resources to investigate the crime.

“There’s a huge amount of evidence gathered at this stage… I have no doubt whatsoever that these people will brought before the courts,” he said.

He also said that there remained a lot of people who had information on his killing, and appealed for those people to come forward.

“There are people out there… who have information in relation to this murder,” he said.

I would appeal to them to examine their conscience.

Three gardaí were also awarded the Bronze Scott Medal for bravery today, for outstanding courage in performing their duties.

Read: Three years on, we’re no closer to knowing who killed Garda Adrian Donohoe…

Read: Adams offers to act as go-between for anyone with info on Adrian Donohoe shooting

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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