Man arrested over murder of Garda Adrian Donohoe

Donohoe (41) was killed when he was shot at close range in a car park in Co Louth

One of the suspects for the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe has been arrested in what detectives believe is the most significant development in the five-year case.

The man was arrested in west Dublin on Sunday and is being questioned by Gardaí in Dundalk, Co Louth.

He is being quizzed about his alleged direct involved in the shooting dead of the father of two in 2013.

The suspect is in his 20s and is from the North, where the gang believed to have killed Det Donohoe live.


Gardaí have been working very close with a foreign police force in keeping the suspect under surveillance in recent years.

He has spent time abroad and in Ireland since the murder. He has also been arrested abroad and in Ireland and spent time in custody in both jurisdictions in recent years.

However, those periods in custody were not related to the murder of Det Garda Donohoe, during a botched Credit Union robbery on the Cooley peninsula.

He has also been convicted of other serious crimes since the murder, though not firearm offences.

Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, released a statement on Sunday night confirming the arrest as part of the murder inquiry.

“Gardaí from Dundalk have arrested a male in his 20s in connection with the murder,” it said.

“He was arrested in Dublin earlier this evening and is currently being detained at Dundalk Garda station under the provisions of section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.”

The Garda has always insisted the inquiry was continuing and that the suspects were known to them. Former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan said those involved were known the gardaí and would be looking over their shoulders for the rest of their lives.

The lack of charges over the past five years meant hopes of a breakthrough had faded somewhat.

However, Garda sources said Sunday night’s arrest was significant and that evidence gathered in the case was being put to the suspect.

Based on that evidence and the replies to detectives’ questions the Garda must consult with the DPP before a decision about charging him with murder could be taken.

He can now be held for questioning for up to seven days, during which time his period of detention must be formally extended; by senior Garda officers for the first 24 hours and a district or circuit court judge thereafter.

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.

He got out of his car to question a group of men who were acting suspiciously when one of them discharged a shot from a shotgun, fatally wounding him on the right side of his face and head.

The gang escaped across the Border to south Armagh, where they are from. At least two of them later fled the jurisdiction for the US. Gardaí have travelled to the US in recent years to interview men alleged to have been involved but they have proven unco-operative.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times