The buses had been coming and going for over an hour, carrying people of all ages who had come to pay their respects to a man who had served their community, who was their friend and neighbour, a role model for their children, and who had lost his life protecting them.
They gathered round the newly unveiled plaque erected in his memory at the gate of Lordship Credit Union, at the very place where he had been gunned down.
It reads: Erected to the memory of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe who lost his life here on 25th January 2013 while serving his community. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
Now, they gathered at that very spot, holding lamps, and candles in crimson jars, on Saturday 25 January, a date nobody in this community will ever forget.
The evening was so different from a year ago, when Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was murdered while on escort duty at the credit union with his colleague Detective Garda Joe Ryan.
That night a tempest raged. On Saturday night all was still and quiet. There were even stars in the sky.
What did Kant say: “I believe in the moral law within me, and the starry heavens above me”.
My conscience, my wonder.
Adrian Donohoe was murdered by people with no morality, no sense of law, or sense of wonder, no sense of any human decency.
At 9.15 everyone gathered closer, their faces lit by the light of the candle flames.
Members of the Donohoe family arrived. Caroline Donohoe lit candles. Also present were Adrian’s mother and father, and other family members. All was silent. Still. The air was alive with silent thoughts and prayers.
At 9.30, at the moment when Adrian was killed, the silence was even deeper. Then a decade of the rosary was recited, the murmur of prayer.
It was a moving, quiet tribute, by family, friends and neighbours, and many others who will never forget him.
The evening before, hundreds gathered at St Joseph’s Redemptorists Church in Dundalk for the first anniversary Mass for Adrian. His widow Caroline, and other family members were joined by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, Justice Minister Alan Shatter, and Chief Supt. Pat McGee.
Chief celebrant Fr Eamon Hoey said: “the best memorial for Adrian will not be made of bronze or stone. It will be something live. It will be all of us who believe in or are prepared to work for peace.
“Above all we remember him best by imitating his faith and bravery and commitment, not just to work and family, but to protecting people and keeping them safe from the evils that surround us.
“As we share the revulsion and rejection of the evil of such atrocities, let us value all the more and appreciate the importance of An Garda Siochana.”
He referred to the funeral Mass one year ago.
“A lasting memory I and so many have is the grief etched on the faces of the many young gardai who had gathered in the church and outside.”