Updated: 18/03/17 : 08:00:27
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New York parade tribute to slain ex Sligo Garda

By Eugene McGloin

A SLAIN Garda officer who once lived in Sligo town was specially remembered in the New York St Patrick's Day parade yesterday, Friday.

He was Inspector Samuel Donegan, who lived at Jail Road -- opposite Abbeyville -- in the late 1960s.

His photo was carried in yesterday's parade and a New York officer stitched Inspector Donegan's name into his uniform.

A native of Longford, Donegan's six children schooled in Sligo town during his posting here.

The 45th anniversary of his death will be specially marked later this year.

Planning to travel to that event is the New York officer who carried his photo in yesterday's parade, Brian Vaughan.

Irony of ironies, Vaughan is a lieutenant in the NYPD's counterterrorism unit.

                  Gardaí marching yesterday in the New York St Patrick's Day Parade

Live Coverage

It was only last month that Lt Vaughan confirmed, in a genealogy search, that he was related to the slain senior officer.

Inspector Donegan's killing by a bomb while on Border duty in June 1972.

Those details were mentioned in extensive live TV coverage of the New York parade on American TV and streamed online around the world.

Inspector Donegan was aged 60 at the time and due to retire from the police service within two years.

His son John, now retired in Kildare, thanked NYPD officer Vaughan for yesterday's special gesture.

Never Left

Of his father he wrote: “He never left Ireland during his lifetime, even for a holiday.

''So it's  hard to imagine how he would have felt if someone told him his name and picture would one day feature in the New York St. Patrick's Day parade.

''We'll be looking out for you when we watch the TV coverage here and thinking fond thoughts for you and your family,'' said John Donegan.