By Jonathan McCambridge, PA
A commemoration ceremony has taken place in Limerick to honour the memory of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe 25 years after his death.
On June 7th, 1996 Detective Garda McCabe was killed by the IRA during the attempted robbery of a post office van.
During the ceremony at Adare Garda Station in Limerick on Monday, his widow Ann McCabe delivered an address alongside Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys.
Also in attendance was Detective Garda Ben O’Sullivan, Mr McCabe’s partner, who was seriously injured in the same IRA attack.
Ms McCabe said the 25 years that have passed have not healed the hurt and pain caused by her husband’s killing.
“They say time heals, but not for me. He died for Ireland, but it was not his choice,” she said.
Ms Humphreys stated: “We will forever remember Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, who made the ultimate sacrifice 25 years ago today, as a steadfast servant of our state.
“In protecting the law, order and security of our country, Jerry and his partner Ben O’Sullivan epitomised the best of An Garda Siochana.
“We also remember Jerry as a beloved husband to Ann and a devoted family man.
“I have nothing but admiration for the courage Ann and her family have shown since Jerry’s death, and in speaking about the appalling act of brutality which took Jerry from them.”
Detective Gardai McCabe and O’Sullivan were on duty escorting a post office truck on its cash delivery at Adare, Co Limerick, on June 7th, 1996.
Just before 7am the truck stopped at Adare and the patrol car pulled up close by. As the truck driver prepared to unload the mail, a Provisional IRA unit crashed a jeep at full speed into the rear of the detective’s unmarked patrol car.
Within seconds five additional gang members, in another vehicle, arrived at the scene and opened fire on the Garda car, killing Detective Garda McCabe and seriously wounding Detective Garda O’Sullivan.
In 1999, four men were convicted of manslaughter for the killing of Detective Garda McCabe.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said his thoughts were with Ms McCabe, as well as Detective Garda McCabe’s family, friends and colleagues.
He added: “This country will never forget his sacrifice, a constant reminder of the dangers our gardai face in the line of duty.”