Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has issued a fresh appeal for information which he hopes might lead to the arrests of two individuals whom the Garda suspect were involved in the murder of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe 27 years ago today.
Detective McCabe, a father of five originally from Ballylongford, Co Kerry, but living in Limerick, was gunned down by an IRA gang as he and colleague Ben O’Sullivan escorted a cash mail van through Adare on June 7th, 1996.
Garda sources said two males, who have been wanted by the Garda for questioning about the killing, have been living in Europe and Central America.
The IRA gang responsible rammed the detectives’ patrol car and fired 14 rounds into the vehicle, killing Det McCabe instantly and seriously injuring Det O’Sullivan, who passed away last year after a short illness.
“Commissioner Harris spoke about this at the commemoration ceremony in 2021 to mark the 25th anniversary of the murder of Det Garda Jerry McCabe. Commissioner Harris said that the investigation into the murder of Det Garda Jerry McCabe remains an active investigation that is subject to regular review. That remains the case,” said a Garda Headquarters spokeswoman.
“Commissioner Harris also appealed to the public, particularly in Limerick, for any information in relation to two individuals suspected to be involved in the murder who are living abroad. Commissioner Harris repeated that appeal again today,” she added.
Reliable sources said gardaí have long been aware of the whereabouts of two men suspected of being involved in the events that led to Det McCabe’s death. It is understood one of the barriers faced by the Garda in arresting one of the men is that he has been living in a location in Central America where there is no extradition treaty arrangement with Ireland.
Four of the gang, Pearse McAuley, Kevin Walsh, Michael O’Neill and Jeremiah Sheehy, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Det McCabe. They were subsequently released after serving their sentences.
A fifth man, John Quinn from Faha, Patrickswell, Co Limerick, who was not present during the gun attack in Adare, was jailed for six years for conspiracy to rob the post van on the day.
Jerry McCabe’s widow Ann McCabe, as well her late husband’s brother-in-law, Pat Kearney, have previously appealed to the authorities to arrest individuals that gardaí believe were involved but have so far evaded the Garda.
Two of the McCabe children, John and Ross, are serving members of the force.
Speaking on the 25th anniversary of her husband’s murder, Ann McCabe said she hoped to one day be able too “eyeball” those still wanted by gardaí in connection with the killing.
Speaking today, Limerick City Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea said he supported Ann McCabe’s appeals to the authorities to bring the case to a conclusion.
“I’d support that, I can’t see any logical or good reason why these guys haven’t been interviewed yet,” said Mr O’Dea.
He described the killing of Det Gda McCabe as “a direct attack on the State”.
“It was very blatant and the community was in total shock for weeks afterwards. I remember attending the funeral and there was an eight-hour queue which showed what the people of Limerick thought of what happened.”
Mr O’Dea said it was “unacceptable” that any individuals suspected of being involved in Jerry McCabe’s killing would not be arrested, no matter how much time had passed.