Gardaí issue appeal over car used in fatal raid in Co Louth
Gardaí have issued a public appeal for information about a car that was used during the robbery in Co Louth last week during which Det Gda Adrian Donohoe was murdered.
Det Garda Donohoe (41), a father of a daughter and son aged six and seven, was killed when he was shot at close range in the car park of the Lordship Credit Union, Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, on the Cooley peninsula at 9.30pm on Friday.
Garda and PSNI sources said the burned-out getaway vehicle used by the gang that carried out the murder could offer vital information. The VW Passat was recovered on Sunday from the Fews forest beside the Cumsons Road between Newtownhamilton and Keady in south Armagh.
Gardaí said today it has been established that this car was stolen during the course of a burglary at Clogherhead, Co.Louth between 11.30pm and 4.30am on January 22nd and 23rd.
“On the night this car was stolen there was a large funeral in Clogherhead and this may jog some local people’s memories of the night,” a Garda spokesman said.
Family, friends and colleagues of Det Donohoe paid their respects to the murdered garda in a wake at his home in Co Louth today. A long line of people arrived to give their condolences to his widow Caroline and the couple’s children Amy and Niall before the front door of their detached home opened at noon.
PJ Stone, general secretary of the Garda Representative Association, former Garda commissioner Noel Conroy, senior detectives, and local firefighters were among the first to visit the family in Lordship, near Dundalk, Co Louth.
A green and white chequered flag, the colours of Det Garda Donohoe’s St Patrick’s Gaelic Football Club, flew at half mast in the estate, in the foothills of the Cooley Mountains.
Fr Tommy McNulty, from nearby Cooley Parish, said the local community had been marvellous, giving Ms Donohoe and her family great comfort. “It’s terrible. Very sad,” he said as he visited the family. “People just don’t know what to say, there’s a cloud over the whole community. People are just very down. People just don’t know what to say to one another. It was so sudden and so much sadness for his wife and their children and the family.”
Det Garda Donohoe’s wife Caroline is a garda working at Dundalk Garda station. He was shot in the head on Friday night by a gang as they stole €4,000 from the Lordship Credit Union.
At the scene of the shooting, floral tributes have been left by Det Donohoe’s family. His wife and children left a bouquet of lilies and roses with a simple message: “Adrian, beloved husband and Dad. Dearly loved by Caroline, Amy, Niall.”
His parents, Peggy and Hugh Donohoe, also left flowers with a note: “Our darling Adrian, you will never be forgotten. Love Mammy and Daddy.”
Roads near the crime scene at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, which is about 3km from the detective’s home, reopened today as investigations continue.
Final preparations are under way for Det Donohoe's state funeral tomorrow, which President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Justice Minister Alan Shatter are expected to attend.
After the wake at the family home, the detective’s body will be taken to St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church in Dundalk for a funeral at 12.30pm tomorrow. As his remains are taken to Lordship Cemetery for burial, he will pass Dundalk Garda station and be given a guard of honour by fellow members of St Patrick’s who will also carry his coffin the kilometre from the club to the graveyard.