Miraculous that more gardaí not killed in line of duty, says Hayden


It was miraculous that more gardaí had not been killed in the line of duty, Labour whip Aideen Hayden said.There were areas of this country, particularly in the capital city, where some people walked around with impunity and where human life appeared to have no value.

“There is not a day of the week where gardaí in this country do not enter ‘no go’ areas and it is a miracle that we have had so few fatalities among the Garda Síochána.”

There was a need for a wider debate on this issue, said Ms Hayden, who had earlier expressed her horror at the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe, in Lordship, Co Louth, last Friday night. “It is shocking to think there are criminals – drug dealers and other forms of low -life – who walk around in this country and seem to have no difficulty whatsoever accessing firearms,” she added.

Government whip Paul Coghlan (FG) said the detective had been slain in cold blood in an area that had in the past, sadly, been referred to as “bandit country. I am afraid that some of the banditry is lingering on.” Consideration should be given to the creation of a north Louth-south Armagh corridor in which the Garda and the PSNI could operate jointly.

This could speed up investigations into very serious crimes.

Seanad leader Maurice Cummins (FG) said members on all sides of the House had rightly expressed their outrage at this murder which had tragically brought home to everyone the work which gardaí performed on a daily basis to protect citizens and the institutions of the State. He announced that today’s sitting arrangements were being changed to enable members of the Seanad to attend Garda Donohoe’s funeral.

‘Gentle giant’

David Norris (Ind) condemned the cold, calculated and callous murder of a man who had been “a gentle giant and a pillar of his community”.

Jim Darcy (FG), a former principal of Bellurgan national school, said he had known Garda Donohoe well. “He came across as having a deep love for his family.”

Marc Mac Sharry (FF) said that while he could appreciate the statement of the Minister for Justice that last week’s murder was not connected to resources, “ let me say in my view when there are eight professional detectives in Sligo and six professional law enforcement detectives in Cavan and there is but one car for those 14 people to do their duties, I am bound to conclude we are not providing those people with the resources that are necessary.”

Labhrás Ó Murchú (FF) saluted “a hero and a patriot”.

Several members paid tribute to Det Garda Joe Ryan for returning to work, despite the trauma he had suffered, to help in the task of apprehending his colleague’s killers.