Gerry Adams TD extends condolences to the family of Detective Steven McDonald
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has extended his deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and friends of Detective Steven McDonald who died in New York this week.
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“Ba mhaith liom mo chombhrón a thabhairt do chlann McDonald. It is with great sadness that I heard of the death of Steven McDonald.
“Steven was an NYPD detective who in 1986 was shot by a 15 year old youth and suffered such severe injuries that he was paralysed from the neck down - a quadriplegic .
“Despite his horrific injuries he never lost hope and some years ago he forgave the man who shot him. Steven was determined to overcome adversity and to transform his personal tragedy into a message of peace and forgiveness. He worked for the rest of his life to bring that message to places of conflict in America, the Middle East and Ireland.
“I first met him in 1994 when along with his friend Fr. Mychal Judge – who was killed in the September 11 attack on New York’s Twin Towers – he attended events organised by Friends of Sinn Féin.
“Steven embraced the Irish Peace Process and established his Reconciliation Project when he visited Omagh in 1998 with Fr Mychal Judge. He was a consistent and active supporter of the peace process, following with interest the ups and downs over the last two decades. He visited Ireland, and particularly the north many times.
“I last saw and talked to Steven at a ceremony commemorating O'Donovan Rossa in Calvary Cemetery , New York in 2015. He was excited about the upcoming events for 2016, the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising.
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
“Steven McDonald was an inspirational figure – an extraordinary human being who was a champion of reconciliation. I am very proud to have had the opportunity to know him.
“He rose above what happened to him and lived a life of meaning and achievement.
“My deepest sympathy to Steven's wife Patti Ann, his son Conor and father David, brothers and sisters and to his big group of devoted friends.”