Gardaí stand shoulder to shoulder in support of lost officer and family
Det Garda Donohoe’s young daughter Amy brought up the mobile phone she used to call her father before she went to bed when he was working nights. She also took the television remote control she would hide from him.
His son Niall’s gifts suggested a strong bond between father and son based on their common love of soccer: his favourite Manchester Utd jersey and the ball he had kicked around so often with his dad outside their family home.
Other gifts included the dead man’s GAA jerseys, from his local club in his native Co Cavan, and the county jersey he had worn. The No 9 jersey from St Pat’s GAA Club, for whom he played and coached in his adopted county, were also brought to the altar, as were a tie and cuff-links – representative of his sense of dress – and his Garda cap and identification card.
Perhaps the most emotional part of proceedings unfolded when Det Garda Donohoe’s brother Colm, a garda based in Swords in north Dublin, came forward to eulogise him. He said that when he told his own young daughter that her uncle Adrian was gone to heaven, she commented innocently: “He was big.” He told Det Garda Donohoe’s widow, Caroline, that she was the love of Adrian ’s life, his soul mate.
‘Proud husband and dad’
“To Caroline, I want to thank you. Thank you for making Adrian the happiest, proudest husband and dad. It’s plain to see from the love you had for each other, you both met the loves of your lives. He lived to his fullest.”
He added: “Whatever Adrian did, whether it was on the football pitch, as a husband, father, son or a guard, he did it to the best of his ability,” he said.
The Garda Commissioner also addressed the congregation, saying that under him the Garda force would do all in its power to bring to justice those responsible for the murder.
“Adrian, detective garda, husband, father, son, brother, colleague, community leader, GAA man, friend, we will never forget you.”
Among those present in the congregation were President Michael D Higgins, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott and Northern Ireland Minister for Justice David Ford.