Two items may help find garda's killers
on 27/02/2013 00:00:00
Crimestoppers also stepped in to boost the reward on offer for information leading to the gang's capture. A €50,000 reward is already in place from the Irish League of Credit Unions but an undisclosed "substantial" sum from Crimestoppers is thought to double that amount.
A month on from the shooting dead of Det Garda Donohoe at the Lordship Credit Union in Co Louth, investigation head, Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny, revealed more than 800 people had been interviewed and more than 2,300 lines of enquiry followed up.
He said extensive CCTV footage had been gathered from many locations in the vicinity of the murder and the process of examining it in detail was now beginning.
He rejected suggestions the investigation had stalled. "The investigation is progressing well and we are making good progress in a number of different areas," he said.
He revealed a child's car seat was in the stolen Volkswagen Passat used by the five-member gang in the robbery and shooting at the credit union but it was removed before they travelled there and was not in the car when it was subsequently burnt out.
Almost new, it was a Cosatto brand high-back booster seat designed for toddlers and young children but it was a very distinctive model, mainly black with a luminous yellow trim and a comic little devil cartoon- type character printed on the fabric.
Superintendent Gerry Curley of Dundalk Garda Station said it was possible the seat had changed hands before or since the robbery and someone might innocently have come into possession of it without realising its significance.
"We are appealing to anybody who may have been offered this car seat for sale or any unsuspecting person who may have purchased it. It may also have been dumped from the car or it could have been offered as a present to some person.
"We'd ask anyone who has any knowledge of the seat to contact us in confidence," he said.
A hammer found at the scene of the murder may also offer clues. Again, it is a distinctive type, used by panel beaters, motor cycle mechanics or others involved in the motor trade rather than for household DIY.
The handle is partly black rubber and partly red metal and the head is made of a soft rubber. One side of the head should have a hard plastic section on it but it is missing and a steel screw is protruding.
The hammer is undergoing extensive tests in the hope it might yield finger prints or other evidence. Supt Curley said while forensic results are awaited, the investigation team was keen to talk to anyone missing a similar hammer or who knew where this one might have come from.