'No resources spared' to find killer of Garda detective
Resources will not be an issue in tracking down those behind the planned robbery in which Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was shot dead in Dundalk last night, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said today. The detective was gunned down during a botched raid on Lordship credit union in Belurgan, less than half a mile from his home.
Det Garda Donohoe, a father of three in his 40s, died as he approached the raiders in a car outside the premises, about seven miles from the border town of Dundalk, Co Louth.
Gardaí said he was shot without warning and had not drawn his weapon.
A wide police cordon extending for several miles was still in place around the crime scene. Specialist officers from the Garda Forensic and Technical Bureau were combing the area for clues and could be seen scouring the bushes and hedgerows lining the rural roads.
Detectives are still investigating whether subversive elements such as dissident republicans were involved in the murder or whether a criminal gang was responsible.
Speaking to reporters in Dundalk, Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said: "There were up to four people involved in the actual raid. How many were involved beyond that will remain to be seen. We will put all our energy towards finding out precisely who was behind this robbery. It is too early to speculate whether there was a subversive element to this or whether they are ordinary criminals."
"Resources will not be an issue. We have many people working on this investigation with the national units assisting the local gardaí. We have the special detective unit the Bureau for Criminal Investigation and all of the specialist units."
The senior officer said the some people had to make tough choices.
"It is an inescapable fact that there are people out there who are aware of who these people are and I would appeal to those people to come forward and help us. This is a cry for help for An Garda Siochana and from the wider society."
Assistant State pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar attended the scene last night and carried out an initial examination before Det Garda Donohoe's remains were removed. A full postmortem will take place later today, a Garda statement said.
A Garda liaison member has fully briefed the Donohoe family. Det Garda Donohoe’s wife, Caroline, is also a garda.
Investigating gardaí in Dundalk appealed for anyone with information about the incident to contact them. A Garda spokesman said they were particularly anxious to speak to anyone who was in the Belurgan, Jenkinstown area between 6pm and 9.30pm last night.
They also appealed for witnesses who may have seen the dark coloured car driving towards Dundalk or possibly onto the M1 after the incident.
Locals in the close-knit rural community said they had been left stunned by the murder of such a well known and popular figure.
Mr Donohoe was originally from Co Cavan, but was stationed at Dundalk Garda station. He was one of two members on escort duty when the incident happened.
It is understood four men were waiting outside to rob the credit union which stays open late on Fridays.
The detective approached the men and a number of shots were fired before they fled in a grey Volkswagen Passat. It is understood Det Garda Donohoe was hit in the head without warning and before he had drawn his garda-issue weapon.
He was pronounced dead a short time later. Although traumatised, it is believed his colleague was physically uninjured.