Manhunt underway after detective shot dead in Louth
on 26/01/2013 01:14:21
Gardaí have named the detective as Adrian Donohoe, attached to the Detective Unit in Dundalk.
The fatal shooting happened at a credit union near Dundalk, Co Louth at around 9.30pm.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has paid tribute to his colleague, saying: ""I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of my colleague Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe. Detective Garda Donohoe died as a result of injuries sustained in the course of his duty following a shooting incident in Dundalk last night "
"At this time my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire force are with the family, friends and close colleagues of Adrian."
Detective Donohoe, aged in his late 30s and married with three children, was one of two detectives on escort duty when the incident occurred.
It is understood four men were waiting outside to rob Lordship Credit Union at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown - about seven miles outside Dundalk town.
The detective approached the men and a number of shots were fired before they fled in a grey Volkswagen Passat.
He was pronounced dead a short while later. Although traumatised, it is believed his colleague was left physically uninjured.
Officers sealed off the whole area for three to four miles in each direction for a forensic examination and a Garda helicopter was deployed for the search.
In a statement, President Michael D. Higgins said he was "deeply shocked to learn of the murder".
"This is a dreadful crime and all Irish people will be truly appalled by it," President Higgins said.
"I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to the late Garda's family and all to all of his colleagues."
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said An Garda Síochána "will spare no effort in ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice".
"In doing so, they have the unswerving support of the Government and Irish people at this very difficult time," he added.
"The Irish people rightly have great respect and admiration for members of An Garda Síochána and the work they do in protecting the community.
"They will share my revulsion and horror that a Garda has so tragically lost his life in the course of his duties."
Garda Representative Association (GRA) President John Parker said the news was "what every police family fears".
"At this time the wider garda family will be doing everything possible to support the late garda's relatives and loved ones, friends and colleagues."
Detective Donohoe is believed to have lived in the rural Lordship area - on the Cooley Peninsula.
Local councillor Jim Loughran said the detective's home was around half a mile from the murder scene.
The Sinn Féin councillor knew the victim through their local GAA club St Patrick's, where he was involved with coaching young players.
He described him as "a quiet, decent family man".
Mr Loughran said: "I just spoke to him last week on the street in town. I can't believe this has happened."
The councillor condemned those responsible for the shooting, saying they had devastated a small tight-knit community.
"This was not just an attack on a Garda detective, it was an attack on the whole community," he said.
Sinn Féin president and Co Louth TD Gerry Adams said he was deeply shocked by the detective's murder.
"I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and colleagues, and appeal to those with information about this crime to co-operate with the Gardai," he said.
The Lordship Credit Union, where the killing took place, was described as a hub of the small community.
It is believed staff were locking up when the incident occurred last night.
Councillor Declan Breathnach said it was not unusual for it to remain open late into the evening.
"It would be fairly busy on a Friday evening, with some people just getting their week's pay or wanting to sort out money for the weekend," Mr Breathnach said.
"This was just such a despicable, heinous act. I still can't believe it but I utterly condemn it."
Fianna Fáil justice spokesman Niall Collins pledged his party's full support to Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.
Offering his sympathy and solidarity, the TD assured the commissioner that he would have all the support necessary in the pursuit and prosecution of those responsible.
Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact them at Dundalk Garda Station.
MORE: Detective shot dead in Dundalk raid