At the heart of Friday night’s sold out Remembering Adrian Concert in St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church was a community.
Family and friends of late Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe led by his wife Caroline, along with colleagues and many others touched by the life of the man who had made Louth his home, gathered for what proved to be an amazing night combining community, respect, love, support and remembrance.
In aid of a sports scholarship to be set up in his memory, the Remembering Adrian doors opened at 7pm, with the concert set to start at 8pm. However the Church was almost full by 7.30 with ticketholders in high spirits for what they all sensed would be the most special of nights.
Superintendent Gerry Curley opened the night and welcomed MC Eileen Dunne. In his short address he welcomed all and thanked the organising committee and artists. Tickets selling out quickly was a reflection on Adrian, who he said was not just a fantastic colleague but a fantastic member of the public.
RTE’s Eileen Dunne in opening the Concert, described it as a great tribute to a man and quoted Dylan Thomas’ ‘Death has no Dominion’
The Church then played host to almost three hours of music from local, national and internationally acclaimed artists beginning with an amazing strings recital.
Singer Songwriter Stewart Agnew, a member of the Remembering Adrian committee, then took to the altar/stage receiving a very warm reception from the audience.
You Tube singing sensation, 15 year old Leah Kirwan received huge applause for her wonderful performance.
Fr Liam Lawton brought tears to many of the audience with a performance of Les Miserables’ ‘Bring Him Home’ amongst other songs.
Kathleen Maddy, another Committee meeting opened the second half of the Concert with two reflections with Adrian’s memory at the heart.
She was then followed by The Priests who sang a variety of songs from ‘Panus Angelicus’ to the Beatles ‘Eleanor Rigby’.
The fantastic Redemptorist Choir joined both Liam Lawton and The Priests on stage as well as performing in their own right.
The night also held a surprise in store as Eurovision winner Dana was in the audience and joined in the Concert by singing ‘Lady of Knock’ which saw the entire audience sing along. The high standard of performance on the night was matched by stunning lighting displays which were unique to each song performed and was commented on by many in attendance.
Prior to The Priests finale floral presentations were made to Caroline Donohoe and Eileen Dunne. Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan who was in attendance spoke to the 550 strong audience recognising the support displayed not only for Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe but also for Garda Tony Golden and an Garda Siochana.
The Concert had been one based in the community like an Garda Siochana, she said. “We are based in the community, we live inside the community.”
The support of the community on Adrian’s death continues to both his family and An Garda Siochana to this day, she added.
She spoke of the Garda force “We attract the brightest, best and most courageous into our ranks”.
Eileen Dunne brought the night to a conclusion by saying that Adrian Donohoe and Tony Golden “paid the ultimate price and they will not be forgotten.”
The Remembering Adrian concert would not have been possible without the huge support shown through Louth and beyond. The committee is currently compiling the many names of individuals and groups who supported the event via sponsorship and services to ensure that no one is omitted.