A garda who was shot twice and left for dead on a street in New Orleans is looking forward to getting back to work and said he was hopeful of returning home in Ireland next week.
Brian Hanrahan, 30, is in positive form, colleagues said, after he was shot in the back and leg in a botched street robbery on January 27.
Gardaí came together today to raise funds to aid his recovery and return home to Ireland.
Sergeant Denis Woods, a close friend who also runs the Garda crime unit at Newcastle West garda station, of which Garda Hanrahan is a member, said: "He's looking forward to getting back as soon as possible.
"He is in positive and good spirits and hopefully we will have him back next week, back in Ireland again.
"All he wants to do is just get on a plane and get back to Ireland. Unfortunately that will depend on medical clearance."
Police are treating the shooting as attempted murder. Officers attached to the violent offender squad, New Orleans, arrested local brothers, Keith and Melvin Galle Jr, on Tuesday night.
Michael Harrison, Police Superintendent at the New Orleans Police Department, said the force was "very proud" to have made arrests so quickly.
Speaking at Henry Street garda station, Limerick's Chief Superintendent David Sheahan paid tribute to the police who apprehended the two main suspects.
"Brian went out there on holidays, and (the shooting) was chronic for him and his wife and entire family. We wish the New Orleans Police Department well in their investigation," Chief Supt Sheahan added.
Sgt Woods added: "I also want to compliment the police in both New York and New Orleans -- they've absolutely been excellent and they have organised fundraisers.
"We are just looking forward to getting Brian back here to Ireland, and obviously there are flight costs and expenses."
He said Garda Hanrahan was walking around after surgery on his wounds.
"Yeah, he has been walking. He's very sore, and even with the few jokes we had, he was saying not to make him laugh because of the soreness," he said.
Asked if Garda Hanrahan was likely to return to the force, Sgt Woods replied: "Oh, he is indeed. He's looking forward to getting back as soon as possible."
Inspector Brian O'Donovan, Newcastle West Garda station, said: "We're delighted and overwhelmed with the (financial and emotional support) and we've passed on all these good wishes to Brian and he's overwhelmed by it as well."
Paying tribute to the injured garda, Inspector O'Donovan said: "Brian is an outstanding Garda."
A motorcycle run will take place on February 22 from Newcastle West Garda station to the Garda Training College in Templemore, Tipperary, to raise further funds for Garda Hanrahan.