herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

I'm a lucky man, says garda shot and robbed in US

a garda who cheated death after being shot while on holiday in the US has said: "I'm a lucky man."

Speaking for the first time since being shot twice in the gun attack last month, Brian Hanrahan said he was getting better every day.

Despite his traumatic ordeal, the young garda managed a smile but said it is taking time to recover.

"I'm still a bit shaky," he said. "I'm all right. I'm on the mend, that's about it."

Looking tired, but remarkably well given his injuries, he added: "I'm very lucky."

The 30-year-old, from Killenaule, Co Tipperary, was shot in the back and leg during a botched robbery as he walked along a street in New Orleans at around 5.30am on January 27.

wallet

According to official police records, he said he met a man who told him he could organise a late drink.

It is understood a second man later approached them and shot Gda Hanrahan after he refused to hand over his wallet containing around €200 worth of dollars.

He flew home at the weekend.

The New Orleans Police Department and An Garda Siochana raised thousands of euro to help the father of one meet the cost of his travel, accommodation and medical bills, which are estimated at close to $1m (€880,000).

He thanked staff at the New Orleans hospital that treated him.

"They are an amazing team and I would not be here today without them," he said.

"I would like to express my gratitude to the New Orleans Police Department, the Emerald Society and the people of New Orleans. Their kindness and generosity will never be forgotten both by me and my family. I would also like to thank the Irish Community both home and abroad for the many kind messages of support," Gda Hanrahan added.

"Obviously I have a long road ahead with pain management and rehabilitation but I am hopeful that these will be effective and I can get back to my normal life," he said.

Gda Hanrahan, who had been on holiday with his father, Brian Snr, spent more than a week in intensive care and underwent surgery.

Bills

It is understood he had travel insurance, but this was not enough to meet the costs of his medical bills. After a week in hospital he moved to a hotel to cut down on costs.

Following the shooting, police in New Orleans offered $2,500 (€2,200) for information, and within days arrested two brothers.

According to court documents, 40-year-old Melvin Galle Jr and 33-year-old Keith Galle, have each been charged with attempted second-degree murder and armed robbery.

A motorcycle run to raise funds will to take place on Sunday, when organisers expect hundreds of motorcyclists to take part along the route from Newcastle West to the Garda Training College in Templemore before returning to Newcastle West.

Registration will take place from 9.30am on the morning of the event at the Silver Dollar Bar, Maiden Street, Newcastle West.

Donations are being accepted at St Paul's garda credit union in Cork at account number 55322.

hnews@herald.ie

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