The Irish Emigrant and IrishCentral are honoring Transit Police Officer Richard Donohue for his brave and courageous efforts during the shoot-outs that occurred last April. He will be among nine honorees to receive an Irish Heroes of New England award this year.
The officer was seriously injured during the pursuit and apprehension of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Donohue, who graduated from the police academy in 2010, arrived in Watertown to aid other police officers in the pursuit of the bombing suspects. He was shot in the cross-fire that took place.
The awards, to be held in Boston at historic Faneuil Hall on November 7, will honor those Irish Americans who showcased, through selfless acts of bravery and dedication, all that is good in the Irish American community.
Speaking about the events surrounding his shooting in April Donohue said, “I still have no memory of what happened but from what I hear it was chaos."
What he does know is that he was shot in the right groin area, which severed a femoral artery. Donohue explains, “I was bleeding out and was lifeless for about forty minutes“.
It was only because of the quick thinking and fast action of his colleagues that he survived. The officer was rushed to Mount Auburn Hospital where surgeons operated on him transferring, in total, 26 units of blood into his body.
Amazingly, Donohue survived this ordeal and has been able to return home to his wife Kimberly and one-year-old son Richard Donohue III. However, the police officer is still unable to return to the job he loves as he is in need of a lot of medical care. The bullet that caused him to be hospitalized for two months and nearly caused his death remains embedded in his right leg.
In conversation with Donohue about how the events have impacted his life, he says “the notoriety is very strange…. I would trade it all in for a normal day.“
Despite speculation that he was hit by friendly fire, Donohue says of the investigation into the events of his shooting, “My answer remains the same, the law was accomplished in 24 hours and the job got done.”
Officer Donohue’s family came to America in the late 1800’s from Leitrim and Tipperary and whilst it has been a few generations since the first Donohue's arrived in this country, the men in his family have kept the Irish tradition and are “policemen or firefighters.”
Donohue has also spent a year living in Ireland when he attended the University of Limerick to complete his Masters in International Tourism. A period of his life he enjoyed so much so he returned to the city with his wife to celebrate her 30th birthday.
Speaking about being bestowed with an Irish Heroes of New England Award Donohue says “I am honored."
The honorees at the Irish Heroes of New England Awards 2013 are as follows:
- Lt. Sean O’Brien, Boston Fire Department: In recognition for his service in saving lives in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
- Lt. J. Paul Vance, Commanding Officer, CT State Police Public Information Office: Spokesperson and the reassuring voice of reason in the aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school.
- Officer Richard Donohue, MBTA Transit Police: Seriously injured during the pursuit and apprehension of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
- Officer Richard Moriarty, Boston Police Department: Assisted in saving Officer Donohue’s life, while under fire from the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
- Michael Sheehan, CEO Hill Holliday and Co-founder of One Fund Boston.
- James D. Gallagher, Executive Vice President John Hancock and Co-founder of One Fund Boston: In recognition of the phenomenal success of One Fund Boston in providing financial aid to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
- Alana and Claire O’Brien, Co-founders of Dance Out For Jane: In recognition of the Irish dance themed fundraiser to benefit Boston Marathon bombing victim Jane Richards, that inspired similar events across the US.
- Ken Casey, Dropkick Murphys and Claddagh Fund: For his fundraising effort to aid the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and for the the Claddagh Fund’s ongoing support of many local charities.