US to shortly deport Adrian Donohoe murder suspect
Man fled Ireland after detective was shot dead by cross-Border gang during robbery
Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe who was shot dead during a robbery at Lordship Credit Union in 2013. Photograph: PA
The man, who is understood to be in his 20s and from south Armagh, was detained by immigration officials in New York on Thursday.
Det Donohoe, a father of two, was shot dead on January 25th, 2013, while on a cash escort with his colleague Det Garda Joe Ryan near Dundalk, Co Louth.
The man who was arrested in New York fled Ireland along with other associates following the murder, for which he is the chief suspect.
The suspect was detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, a branch of the department of homeland security, for violating immigration rules.
Unlike extradition proceedings, deportations are implemented relatively quickly. Typically those detained can be returned to their country of origin in a few days after their arrest.
It is understood the arrest, first reported by the Irish Daily Star, was made as part of a targeted operation, following co-operation between gardaí and immigration officials in New York – effectively side-stepping the extradition process.
Det Donohoe was on a cash escort at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, with Det Ryan when they were ambushed by a cross-Border gang.
They opened fire with a shotgun when Det Donohoe went to investigate a suspicious car.
The five-man gang shot Det Donohoe dead and then stole more than €4,000 in cash before making their getaway in a Volkswagen Passat.
Senior gardaí told The Irish Times news of the arrest in New York had been welcomed by Det Donohoe’s wife Caroline.
“Deportation will be the next step in this process, as it is my understanding the individual was arrested for immigration offences. Homeland Security were watching this man and when the opportunity arose to pounce they did,” a Garda source said.
“If the deportation is a speedy process then the man could arrive back in Ireland as early as next Wednesday where he will be arrested for questioning in relation to the murder.”
A spokesman for the US Embassy in Dublin said it had been working for “some time” liaising with gardaí and US law enforcement bodies on this case.
“The US Embassy in Dublin has been working for some time connecting Garda and US law enforcement bodies working on this case and we’re aware of the action taken in the United States earlier this week.
“We are proud of the close co-operation between our law enforcement officials and admire their commitment to ensuring the safety and security of our respective populations.”
The Department of Justice said it had no comment.
While the Trump administration has said its deportation crackdown will focus on criminals, it is not clear if the Irish citizen in question had a criminal record in the US.
Undocumented Irish have been assured by authorities – including Taoiseach Enda Kenny – that they have nothing to fear from President Donald Trump’s move to clamp down on illegal immigration.
Mr Kenny said during his St Patrick’s Day visit in March that undocumented Irish immigrants who commit minor offences should not fear deportation.
Irish officials moved to clarify that this was a one-off event rather than a clampdown on undocumented Irish.
New York is a so-called “sanctuary city” which has refused to comply with calls for police officers to enforce immigration law. The detention of any citizen on immigration charges is implemented by the department of homeland security rather than the NYPD, a spokesman said.