Garda shot twice in New Orleans mugging to undergo surgery

Brian Hanrahan (30) from Co Tipperary was wounded while on holidays in US


A garda is expected to undergo surgery to remove a bullet lodged in his back after he was shot twice while on holiday in the United States.

Brian Hanrahan (30), from Killenaule, Co Tipperary, and stationed at Newcastle West Garda station, Co Limerick, was shot in the lower back and in one of his legs.

While his injuries from the shooting in New Orleans early on Monday morning are serious, they are not believed to be life-threatening. There are unconfirmed reports he was placed in a medically induced coma by doctors overnight to aid his recovery.

A spokesperson for ILH Interim LSU Hospital said Garda Hanrahan was “recovering well”.

The Honorary Consul of Ireland in Louisiana has visited him and said the Irish community in the city has already begun fundraising efforts ahead of the arrival of his family who are flying in.

The Garda Representative Association, of which he is a member, said its “thoughts and prayers” were with him and his family.

Garda Hanrahan and his father had been on a 10-day road trip travelling along the famous Route 66 across the United States. According to a Garda source, the trip had been a surprise organised by his father.

“They dropped off in New Orleans to enjoy the annual Mardi Gras celebrations,” the source said. “He had to get emergency annual leave because his father only told him about it at short notice. I think he thought he was going to a Premiership soccer match in the UK. It was a surprise trip.”

Hours before the shooting, Garda Hanrahan’s father returned to their hotel leaving his son to enjoy the street festival spectacle. However, as he was returning to the hotel at about 5.40am on Monday, he was approached by a man who attempted to rob him.

Police documents from New Orleans said Mr Hanrahan, who was not named in the documents, was approached by a man armed with a gun. “The perpetrator demanded money and the victim refused,” the documents said. “The perpetrator shot the victim multiple times then fled. The victim was transported to hospital.”

The shooting occurred in the Seventh Ward area of the city near the intersection of New Orleans Street and North Tonti Street.

According to a Garda source, a bullet is lodged in Garda Hanrahan’s back and he may have to undergo surgery to remove it.

Garda Hanrahan and his wife Emma, who recently married, celebrated the arrival of their first child Mia a little over a year ago.

Police in New Orleans are investigating the incident.

A liaison officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs is assisting Garda Hanrahan’s wife and family who are travelling to see him and expected to arrive on Thursday.

In a statement on Wednesday night, the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Louisiana, James McKay said he had visited the victim in hospital.

“Fundraising efforts are now underway to assist Hanrahan and his family. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Emerald Society and the Irish Network New Orleans are raising funds to help the family through this ordeal,” his office said.

A fundraiser has already been set up for Sunday, and donations are also being received by the police officers’ fund.

Mr McKay said: “Regrettably, Garda Hanrahan met a criminal element in our city. I am pleased that he is now meeting the compassion and support for which the Irish Community in New Orleans is world renowned.”