There has been outrage at the action of heartless vandals who smashed the memorial to the late Garda Gary McLoughlin, who died in the line of duty, before placing part of it outside his girlfriend’s home in Buncrana..
The memorial was erected by the family of the heroic garda in Lisfannon, Burt, near where the patrol car he was driving in December 2009 was struck by a car being pursued by gardai. He later died from his injuries.
The plaque read: “For some moments in life there are no words.”
Gardai say they are “sickened and disgusted’ by the act.
They believe last Monday night/Tuesday morning the plaque was targeted by vandals and smashed into pieces. Part of the plaque was later left outside the home of Shauna Bradley, the late Garda’s girlfriend, almost 20km away in Buncrana, on the bonnet of her brothers car.
Garda Superintendent Kevin English told Highland Radio’s Shaun Doherty Show: “I have no words to adequately describe what happened – it was sick, vile and sinister in the extreme and it has caused untold hurt to the family of Gary, the community and all his colleagues.
“It is a depraved act carried out by people who have no respect for anyone and it is a direct attack on Gary, his family and An Garda Siochana,” he said.
He added he spoke with Garda McLoughlin’s family in his home town of Fenagh in Co. Leitrim and they were “devastated” by the news.
Supt. English added: “These people not only removed the plaque but also sprayed graffiti on it. I don’t know how anyone can stoop so low. I don’t known how much more this family can take.
“They have endured the loss of their son, a criminal trial and then the escape of Martin McDermott. All they ask is time to grieve for their unnecessary loss. There are no words to describe it. I have never experienced such an act. They now find themselves plunged into further grief.”
“They are deeply, deeply hurt and are totally confused as to why someone would want to inflict such pain on them,” he said.
A garda investigation is under way and he vowed everything will be done to track down the people who carried out the heartless act.
Raphoe man, Martin McDermott, was sentenced last year to seven years for his manslaughter.