Court

'58 senseless seconds' - Murdered garda Adrian Donohoe's wife and parents deliver victim impact statements

Court

Alison O’Riordan

Reporter:

Alison O’Riordan

'58 senseless seconds' - Wife of murdered Garda Adrian Donohoe delivers victim impact statement

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

The wife of murdered Det Garda Adrian Donohoe has today given an emotional victim impact statement at the sentence hearing of Aaron Brady, who was found guilty of Det Donohoe's capital murder. Mr Brady was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.

"There are absolutely no words that can adequately express the impact the events of the 25th of January 2013 had on my life and the lives of my children and our extended family, colleagues and friends and all who love Adrian," Caroline Donohoe said.

"I will never recover fully from what I had to see at Lordship Credit Union. My heart breaks every time I pass there and sometimes I can't get the images out of my mind for hours.

"Nothing or no-one will ever replace Adrian in our home. Our children Amy and Niall, have missed having their daddy at their communions, confirmations and all the firsts in their young lives. We had a loving, happy family, everything was just perfect but in just 58 senseless seconds everything changed forever."

Garda Donohoe's parents also delivered a victim impact statement. It read:

"Adrian was our first-born son, the eldest of six children and he always looked out for the rest of the family, and especially his younger siblings. He brought so much joy to our lives. We loved following his football career both in Crosserlough, St Patrick's College in Cavan and St Pats in Lordship and for the Cavan minor and U21 county teams. A fond memory was him winning the U21 county championship for Crosserlough with a last-minute goal. He was a model student and his teachers always spoke highly of him. His primary school teacher always asked 'how is the gentle giant?'"

"We so clearly remember his first day of school, him going off on the school bus outside the gate. He was always so well met. He was a great help on the family farm from a young age; always ready to help out.

"Even after he moved away from home he was always willing to come home and help on the farm. He never forgot his mother's birthday or Mother's Day, always came with the cards and flowers and the best presents.

"Indeed, he was so thoughtful with the presents he got us, the time he put into going through paper archives to put together a scrapbook of all football games Hugh was involved in, he was as good a son as anyone could have asked for. We miss him so much everyday; the regular phone calls and chats telling us about the kids and everything going on in his life.

"He loved to organise surprises for us, bringing home his brother from abroad to surprising his mother on her 60th birthday. He always wanted the best for us and looked to make our lives easier at every opportunity. 

"Adrian loved the guards, we remember how proud he was the day he graduated from Templemore.

"Our lives are divided in two, our lives before January 25 2013 and our life since that awful night. It's hard to accept that such a good man would come across such evil on that cold wet night. We'll never forget that awful night, sitting in the kitchen, saying prayers, when the guards came to the door. It's news that no parent should have to deal with, it was such a waste of a good man by that evil pointless act.

"From that day forward it is impossible to find joy in life, the joy is gone, we exist from day to day and try to exist for our children and grandchildren and we're very lucky to have such a caring family still around us.

"Adrian is such a loss to us, when we gather as a family there is such a big presence missing, he lived for family gatherings and happy occasions. He is such a loss to us and the milestones he misses in his children's lives, it breaks our hearts. It's such a struggle to get through life and no time will ever change that.

"Some days are so hard and life is such a struggle and not worth living. We visit his grave every week which gives us some comfort, but it's no place for him, he should be here with us living his life.

"Life was so unfair to him, such a good man deserved to live a full life to old age and not to be shot down in such a brutal way. He loved the guards but looked forward to his retirement but he never got the chance to retire and live to an old age.

"Lastly, I'd like to close by thanking the gardai investigating team and the legal team for their hard work in getting us to this successful conclusion. It will not bring Adrian back but give us some comfort."