Gardaí release man arrested in connection with Garda Donohoe murder

Man in 50s released without charge, second man in 20s still being questioned in Dundalk

File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

 

One of two men being questioned about the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe has been released from custody without charge.

The man, who is in his 50s, was detained by gardaí in Co Louth last Monday evening. His detention under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act allowed him to be questioned for up to seven days.

He was released on Sunday morning. Gardaí do not believe he was directly involved in the murder of Det Garda Donohoe five years ago.

The garda was shot dead during a botched armed robbery at a Co Louth Credit Union in January, 2013.

The man in his 50s who was questioned is close to two much younger men who gardaí believe were among the gang that carried out the killing.

Having been interviewed at length since his arrest last week, a file is now being sent to the DPP in relation to the now-released man.

A second man, who is in his 20s, was still being questioned on Sunday afternoon at Dundalk Garda station. He was arrested outside Wheatfield Prison, west Dublin, last Sunday evening.

His period of detention is nearing an end and gardaí must charge him with a criminal offence within hours or release him without charge.

The man is from Northern Ireland and has been questioned about his suspected direct and central involvement in the murder.

Det Garda Donohoe (41), a father of two, 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 January 25th, 2013.

He arrived at the credit union with Det Garda Joe Ryan to provide an armed escort for a staff member depositing a bag of money at a bank night safe in Dundalk.

When the two gardaí drove on to the Credit Union grounds, another car was driven across the exit of the car park. That prompted Det Garda Donohoe to get out of his Garda car to investigate.

However, as he was stepping out of his vehicle, a number of men came out from behind a nearby wall. One of them fired a shot and fatally wounded Det Garda Donohoe, leaving him no time to respond or take cover.

Gardaí believe the gang intended to rob Credit Union staff of the money. They escaped across the Border to south Armagh, where they are from. A number of them later fled the jurisdiction for the US.