The response from the public to his murder has overwhelmed them. “I have never seen anything like this in my 30-plus years of service,” said one garda. “The support, the grief, the heartbreak has affected everybody. It has been no more than what Adrian deserves.”
“My heart aches at the loss of a great colleague and friend who I was always proud to work with,” said another.
“There will be no hiding place for those responsible, we are confident of that,” another garda said.
Chief Superintendent Pat McGee, Louth division, said: “I knew Adrian from the time he arrived in Dundalk. I was totally shocked when I heard the news. He was doing his job, which he loved, protecting the community and his garda colleagues, and everyone who knew him have been devastated by his loss.”
Garda Robbie Peelo, the Garda Representative Association representative in Dundalk, said: “Adrian was also a proud Cavan and Kilnaleck man and often travelled home for matches. He was the epitome of what people want in a garda. He lived in their community and yet as a detective he was also at the forefront of the fight against subversives.
“His death was horrific, no matter where it happened, but for it to happen in the community he was part of makes it all the more horrific and everyone who knew him is devastated.”
Dundalk-based Fine Gael TD Peter Fitzpatrick, a former manager of the Louth football team said: “I played football with him and managed his local GAA team. He was a gentle giant whose wife and children meant the world to him. As a volunteer in his local community, he was loved and respected by all who knew him.”
Louth TD Gerald Nash, of Labour, said: “I am utterly sickened and angered at the cold-blooded murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe.
“A long and dark shadow has been cast across Co Louth, Ireland, and An Garda Síochána this weekend.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Declan Breathnach said: “This is a crime against the people of Ireland and there is somebody who knows who the perpetrators are. If people have the bottle to address that — it could be their son, brother, father, who was responsible — then they should make a simple call to the Garda Confidential Line and bring this to a swift conclusion.”
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, who lives near Ravensdale, Co Louth, said: “I am shocked at this crime. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and colleagues and appeal to those with information about this crime to co-operate with the gardaí.”
People queued yesterday to sign books of condolences outside Dundalk Garda Station and at St Patrick’s GFC.
Books will be opened in Dundalk Town Hall and at the Tholsel in Drogheda this morning.