Burned-out car probably used in garda's murder
The Minister added that he has been in contact with Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Teresa Villiers.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said no resources would be spared in the search for the murderers. More than 100 officers are involved in the investigation.
The Garda Press Office declined to comment for operational reasons on media reports that the gang left behind a substantial sum of cash.
An Garda has renewed its calls for information around key events on Friday including any suspicious activity near the Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, between 6.30pm and 9.30pm, and anyone who saw the Passat found burned out on the Keady to Newtownhamilton Road in Co Armagh yesterday.
Det Garda Donohoe had lived in the Lordship townland and will be buried there on Wednesday after 12.30pm funeral Mass at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church.
At least five raiders appeared to have very good knowledge of the road network in the area and of the times for the regular Friday night movement of cash from the credit union into Dundalk.
A gang of criminals from north Louth-south Armagh are the chief suspects. This gang raided the post office in 2011 and escaped with just over €60,000 on a Friday night as armed gardaí were about to arrive to escort the cash to a bank night safe in Dundalk.
The circumstances of that robbery are almost identical to last Friday’s raid. However, the investigation is in its infancy and the possible involvement of dissident republicans has not been ruled out. Det Garda Donohoe arrived at the credit union in an unmarked Garda car with Det Garda Joe Ryan, who was driving.
They were there to provide an armed escort for a credit union member of staff who was to drive her car into nearby Dundalk to deposit a bag of money at a bank night safe.
When they arrived at the car park, the two armed detectives realised a vehicle and four men were already waiting there.
Det Garda Donohoe got out of the car to question the men on what they were doing when one of them discharged a shot from a shotgun, fatally wounding him on the right side of his face and head. He was given no warning and had not drawn his sidearm.
The raiders then continued with the robbery, shouting at Det Garda Ryan to stay back and threatening him at gunpoint. They threatened the credit union staff and took a bag with €4,000 before fleeing in their vehicle.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room in Dundalk Garda station at 042-9388400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or the PSNI on 04890-650222 (from the Republic) or 0845-6008000 (from Northern Ireland).