The heroic NYPD Irish cops who gave their all to keep the city safe


McDonald was shot three times in the line of duty by 15-year-old Shavod Jones (1971–1995) whom he was questioning about bicycle thefts in Central Park.

Detective McDonald and a co-worker were on patrol in Central Park, because there had been reports of mischief in the area. Three young boys between the age of 13 and 15, who looked suspicious, started running away when the two police officers went towards them. They split up, and McDonald found them hiding in some bushes. He started to question them, and noticed something in the sock of one of the boys and when he wanted to see what it was, he was shot and nearly killed.The first of the three bullets that hit Steven McDonald hit him in the head, above his eye. The second hit his throat which caused him to have a speaking disability and the third shattered his spine, paralyzing him from the neck down and leaving him quadriplegic.

Jones served nine years in prison for the shooting, and was killed in a motorcycle accident on September 9, 1995, three days after his release on parole. Earlier, Jones called Detective Steven McDonald to apologize, but the two never met in person after the incident.

During McDonald's recovery in Bellevue Hospital, he met Father Mychal Judge, who became a close friend to him, his wife Patti Ann and son Conor. McDonald formally identified Judge's body on the evening of September 11, 2001.

He has become a noted public speaker, notably on behalf of the NYPD, peace initiatives in Northern Ireland, the US Navy (he was a hospital corpsman) and speaking with students about violence and forgiveness.

Moira Smith

On 11th September2001, Commissioner Raymond Kelly said, Officer Smith had seen the attack from miles away at the 13th Precinct station house on East 21st St. “She could have done 100 important tasks there and no one would have questioned her courage and dedication,” he added. “But she wanted to be where she could make the most difference.”

She gathered together a group of officers, including Police Officer Robert Fazio, who also died on that day, and headed to the World Trade Center. For her efforts on September 11th, Smith, the only female NYPD officer to die in the attacks, was posthumously awarded the department's highest accolade, the Medal of Honor.

Moira Smith is honored with "P.O. Moira Smith Way", which is located at 74th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, Brooklyn. 

Kevin Herlihy

Detective Kevin Herlihy was shot in the arm on St. Valentine’s Day this year. He was in pursuit of a suspect in the 145th Street subway station.

Herlihy and his fellow officers were following  Michael McBride (52) when he opened fire. Despite being shot in the arm Herlihy managed to shot the suspect in the chest killing him.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told the press McBride was a paroled felon. He had visited his girlfriend’s home earlier in the week where he argued with her 25-year-old daughter. McBride shot her in the head and fled the scene.

Kelly Det. Herlihy’s bravery. He said “He not only survived but was able to stop his assailant from shooting anyone else. I want to thank the doctors and staff here for their excellent care of Detective Herlihy and for their dedication to the community at large.”

Kevin Brennan

Plain clothes officer Kevin Brennan, 29, was shot in the back of the head at point-blank range on 31st January 2011 after a shoot out at a Brooklyn housing project.

The shootout began when Brennan and two other cops responded to a man with a gun call. Luis “Baby” Ortiz ran off and was pursued by Brennan who was shot in the back of the head.

He was brought to hospital where the bullet was removed from his head in the Emergency Room.

After ten days in hospital Brennan was miraculously well enough to return to his home in Long Island to join his wife and two-month-old daughter, Maeve.

Ray Kelly said “This is a great story…This young man gave his all, we see in the film where he tackles this individual [who] has a gun in his hand. He knew, he saw the gun. And yet he went right at him and grabbed him, and he was shot at point blank range, and it truly is a miracle that he survived."

Anthony Dwyer

Officer Dwyer was killed when he was pushed from a rooftop during a struggle with a suspect. He and other officers had responded to a robbery at a McDonald's fast-food restaurant in Times Square.

Officer Dwyer chased one of the suspects to the roof of the building where the suspect pushed him off of the roof into an airshaft. He did not die immediately. He was jammed in a confined space between buildings where he could hardly breathe. He had a compound fracture and ruptured internal organs. He was leaning on the speaker button of his radio and everyone working could hear his agony. ESU responded to the scene and attempted to dig through the wall to get to him.