GARDA Brian Hanrahan, the Newcastle West-based Garda who was shot and seriously injured last week while on holiday in New Orleans, is making a good recovery – but is now faced with a medical bill of almost $1 million.
According to his Garda colleague, Sgt Denis Woods, Garda Hanrahan is “ now up and walking about but very sore” and they hope he will be discharged from hospital soon.
The garda was mugged, robbed and shot twice in the early hours of last Wednesday morning, with one bullet lodging in his lower back while another went right through one of his legs.
However, an operation at the ILH hospital to remove the bullet proved very successful. “He was extremely lucky,” Sgt Woods said.
Meanwhile, however, Garda Hanrahan’s medical bill has quickly become astronomical. “We were told it was approaching $1m by last Saturday night,” Sgt Woods said.
Garda Hanrahan’s wife, Emma and his mother Rose flew out to New Orleans last Thursday to join his dad, Brian Snr who had planned the trip as a birthday surprise for his son.
“They are trying to discharge him into the hotel, “ Sgt Woods explained. “We are trying to get him back to Ireland, hopefully this week, provided the doctors give him the go-ahead to fly.”
The Garda Representative Association and Garda Hanrahan’s colleagues in the force collected money to fly Emma and Rose to New Orleans. And various events are being organised to raise further funds, including a coffee morning in Henry Street garda station tomorrow.
A special account in the name of Brian Hanrahan has been opened at St Paul’s Garda Credit Union, Bohermanna Road, Cork, and the account number is 55322.
Police officers in New Orleans and at Newark Airport are also collecting funds.
Meanwhile, police in New Orleans have identified one of the men involved in the incident and have issued an arrest warrant for him for attempted murder and armed robbery. They have appealed for help from the public in tracking down the second suspect, the alleged shooter and are offering a reward of $2,500 for information.