Family of Garda Adrian Donohoe awarded €1.3m damages

Personal injury action against State taken by widow and children of officer shot on duty


The family of the late Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, shot nearly six years ago while on armed escort duty near the Border, has been awarded €1.3 million damages for personal injury against the State.

Mr Justice Michael Twomey, who deals with Garda compensation matters in the High Court, was asked to approve the negotiated settlement because of the involvement in the proceedings of the late Garda Donohoe’s son and daughter aged 11 and 12.

The action was taken against the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform by Det Garda Donohoe’s widow, former garda Caroline Deloughrey, who has retired on health grounds from the force since the death of her husband.

Ms Deloughrey, a native of Co Clare, met her husband at the Garda Training College, Templemore, Co Tipperary. She had worked with the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dundalk Garda station to which her 41-year-old husband had also been attached.

Det Garda Donohoe had been on armed escort duty with a colleague at Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Co Louth, on January 25th, 2013, when he was fatally shot. He was given a State funeral and was posthumously awarded a Scott medal for bravery.

Ms Deloughrey’s application for compensation for herself and the couple’s children was led by former attorney general Eoghan Fitzsimons SC and barrister Eamonn MJ Coffey.

Micheál Ó Scanaill SC, with barrister Joseph O’Sullivan, together with the State Solicitor’s Office, handled settlement negotiations over the past year on behalf of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Award divided

The judge was told it had been agreed by the legal representatives of Det Garda Donohoe’s surviving family members that Ms Deloughrey would receive a settlement of €970,000 with the remainder of the award being divided almost equally between her two children, but slightly in favour of the younger child.

Mr Ó Scanaill told the Garda Compensation High Court public hearing the Minister had agreed that whatever formula of division of the overall award the family came up with was acceptable to the State and the children’s shares would be lodged in court funds until they are 18. The €970,000 would be paid out to Ms Deloughrey.

Co Armagh man Aaron Brady (28) of New Road, Crossmaglen, has been charged with the capital murder of Det Garda Donohoe while acting in the course of his duty at Lordship Credit Union on January 25th, 2013.

Garda Detective Inspector Pat Marry, in evidence during a District Court hearing last year, told Judge John Coughlan when he charged Mr Brady with the murder he had replied: “I strongly deny any involvement in the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.”

Mr Brady’s defence team, led by Michael O’Higgins SC, has already been served with a four-volume book of evidence. Prosecution counsel Brendan Grehan SC has told Mr Justice Michael White the Central Criminal Court trial was expected to take between six and eight weeks. Mr Justice White set October 8th, 2019, as the commencement date for the trial.