Tributes paid following tragic death of garda who suffered online abuse after Gemma O’Doherty video
Tributes have been paid to a Garda, who was subjected to a tirade of online abuse following a viral video posted by anti-mask campaigner Gemma O’Doherty.© Provided by Extra.ie
Garda Alan Leblique, who was stationed in Dún Laoghaire in Dublin but was originally from Enniskillen, died suddenly on Monday. His funeral is due to take place this Monday.
He is survived by his husband Patrick, his mother Sheila Parker, his stepfather Kevin and his brothers Gerry, Stephen and Paul.© Provided by Extra.ie Garda Alan Leblique
PSNI officer Paul Bloomer said his friend Garda Leblique was a ‘consummate professional and one of the most polite, decent people I’ve met on the job.’
Mr Bloomer tweeted: ‘I was so proud that we got to march together in Dublin Pride in 2019. Alan was loved by the public he served and is the only police officer in these islands that I know of that had a Facebook group set up in support of him after he was filmed standing up to protect the public.
‘Alan was a son, a husband, a gay man, a fine police officer and my friend. The world is poorer for not having him in it. I’m absolutely heartbroken and devastated.’© Provided by Extra.ie Gemma O’Doherty Pic Stephen Collins / Collins Photos
Garda Leblique became the subject of intense online harassment after a confrontation with a conspiracy theorist last year. In the video, verbal abuse is levelled at Garda Leblique, with his ID number, F390, repeatedly mentioned, while he was doing his duty.
A Facebook group called Support for Garda F390 was set up in April shortly after the incident and has over 8,500 members as of yesterday evening.
In a letter dated in May last year, Garda Leblique thanked a local who sent him a postcard supporting him. In the letter he said: ‘I take great pride in serving as a Garda member, knowing that you and so many others can show such generosity of spirit to me, a person you’ve never met. The level of support and kindness shown has been overwhelming, it is very much appreciated.’© Provided by Extra.ie Gemma O’Doherty arriving at the High Court Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
The International Police Association -Ireland said that Alan’s death was a ‘terrible tragedy’ and that he ‘served his community as he lived his life, with pride and compassion’.
‘To his husband Patrick, family and friends, we pass our condolences.’
The Irish Coast Guard unit in Dún Laoghaire said: ‘Our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Garda Alan Leblique, who we had the privilege to meet and work alongside in our local community. May he rest in peace.’
The Civil Defence Unit in Dún Laoghaire said: ‘The Dún Laoghaire Unit would like to offer our condolences and sympathies to the family of Garda Alan Leblique and also to his colleagues and friends in Dún Laoghaire Garda Station.’© Provided by Extra.ie Gemma O’Doherty and John Waters at the Four Courts Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie
‘He was respected by both his colleagues and the public. Rest in peace.’
A vigil for Garda Leblique was held at Dún Laoghaire Garda Station on Tuesday. The service was led by Garda chaplains Fr Joe Kennedy and archdeacon David Pierpoint.
An Garda Síochána said that it does not comment on the personal details of its staff.
In the two-minute video posted online, Garda Leblique can be seen calmly interacting with a conspiracy theorist as they call for him to report to the Garda Ombudsman as well as mentioning his number. The person continually berates Garda Leblique while he remains calm and collected throughout the incident.