Tributes to garda who reached out to all

A garda who died following a tragic shooting incident was remembered at his requiem Mass as a kind, thoughtful and outgoing young man who loved his job and treated all people with respect.

Mourners, including more than 100 senior and rank and file gardaí from all across country, filled the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Blarney, Co Cork, for the funeral of Garda Adrian Hickey.

Garda Hickey, who was 29, was found with a single gunshot wound to the head in the back garden of his partner’s apartment at Lis Ard, Tralee in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He died in Kerry General Hospital on Monday.

Before the Mass, crowds filed past the tricolour-covered coffin, on which rested the young man’s Garda cap, to offer condolences to his parents Ted, a retired garda, and Rita, his fiancée Emily and his brothers David and Padraig.

Blarney Parish Priest Fr Bill Bermingham said Adrian’s tragic death had plunged families and communities into the depths of sorrow.

“The greatest sorrow is not to see, hear or touch him any more”, said the priest, who described the young garda as a “good and loving son and brother”.

“Adrian reached out to people in his family, among his friends, in the wider community. His work was his passion and in his work his colleagues quickly became his friends. They speak of his smile, his warmth, his enthusiasm for everything he did.”

“He had found real happiness in his love for Emily. He looked forward to being a husband, a father and the future was filled with hope as they made their plans.”

At the offertory procession, a single flower symbolising the love that was part of the young garda’s life was brought to the altar, while his fiancée carried a picture of the couple smiling happily together.

Gardaí carried the Irish flag and the Garda flag to the altar during the consecration while trumpeters from the Garda band sounded the honours.

At the end of the Mass, which was attended by Assistant Garda Commissioners Donal O’Cualáin and Fintan Fanning, and Tralee mayor Cllr Grace O’Donnell, Adrian’s colleagues carried his coffin from the church in a final goodbye.

Outside, a guard of honour was performed by rank and file members of the force.


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