Heartbroken relatives of the garda critically injured in a tragic shooting incident in Tralee, Co Kerry, gathered at his bedside late last night to hold a poignant prayer service.
Seriously ill Garda Adrian Hickey was surrounded by his distraught girlfriend and family in the intensive care unit of Kerry General Hospital where he was admitted at about 4am on Sunday.
Garda Hickey, who was in his 30s, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head in the back garden of his girlfriend’s home at Lisard, Tralee.
It is understood that the weapon used was a 9mm Sig Sauer garda service revolver found at the scene. The garda had been on duty in the town on Saturday night.
His girlfriend raised the alarm and he was rushed by ambulance to hospital where doctors battled desperately to save his life.
Garda Hickey’s family has maintained a constant vigil at his bedside since Sunday and colleagues have offered prayers.
The son of a retired garda and a native of Blarney, Co Cork, Garda Hickey graduated from the Garda Training College in Feb 2006 and Tralee was his only posting.
He spent several years as a uniformed member of the force before joining the plainclothes branch to work in the busy Kerry Divisional Drugs Unit.
Gardaí are not looking for anyone in connection with the shooting, which stunned the town where Garda Hickey was known as a friendly, outgoing, and popular man.
The Garda Commissioner informed the Garda Ombudsman of the shooting in accordance with legislation.
A team from the ombudsman’s office was sent to Tralee and continued their investigations yesterday.
Fearless in the line of duty, Garda Hickey had received a death threat from a notorious criminal who had threatened to shoot him, it emerged earlier this year.
At Tralee District Court in January, Garda Hickey told Judge James O’Connor the 34-year-old criminal had made a gun shape with his hand and pointed at him. “He pointed at my head and made as if to blow me away,” he said.
The accused was awaiting trial for a serious offence at the time.
The Tralee man was fined €400 for engaging in threatening, abusive, and insulting behaviour.
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