Ballybofey man Paul McCormack rose up to the ranks of the NYPD to be made Commanding Officer of Precinct 41 in January 2001.
Little was he to know, as he settled into the job, that within nine months he would find himself at the centre of one of the most horrific terrorist attacks of all time.
The terrifying and traumatic events of September 11, 2001 still resonate throughout the world ten years on. To mark the anniversary and in remembrance of all who lost their lives that fateful day, Paul recently announced that the National Museum of Ireland will be holding an exhibition where he will be discussing his experiences. The exhibition opens on August 17.
Paul adds that while he did not lose any men from his own Precinct in the tragedy, a lot of comrades he had worked with over the years had been killed.
He said: “For the first couple of months, we didn’t even have time to think about things. It was work, sleep and back to work again. We had to get back to business as usual.
“Even now I still haven’t had time to reflect on things properly. A lot of victims’ families are still coming to terms with it, but it’s also true to say the incident had welded the people together, more than anything else since I’ve been in the country.”
Paul is still very much a Donegal man. His contact with the county and willingness to play any supportive role is legendary. His work to rub out drug abuse in the county has gone from discussion and word-of-mouth into direct action and innovative ideas for anti-drugs strategies.