Suspects in garda death case identified


Gardaí investigating the murder of Det Garda Adrian Donohoe last Friday week have identified a number of suspects from the Crossmaglen area of Co Armagh.

Detectives in the Republic are working with PSNI colleagues and believe at least some of the key arrests will come north of the Border.

The cross-Border team believes criminals from Co Louth and also those with addresses in the North conspired to rob Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, and shot Garda Donohoe when he walked into the armed robbery ambush plan.

Gardaí believe the gang took the decision to shoot the garda to avoid being caught.

Gardaí have built up intelligence on those suspected of being involved. While sources have stressed intelligence is not evidence that would prove the involvement of the suspects in the murder, two men in their 20s from Crossmaglen have been identified as key people of interest.

The Garda and PSNI have nominated a name for the man they believe fired the fatal shot. He is from the North but while known to the police there, he and his associates would not be regarded as criminals who have engaged in fatal shootings in the past.

All of the suspects are in their 20s. They are under close surveillance and have been since the immediate aftermath of the killing. The suspects would not be regarded as men from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Meanwhile, Louth gardaí hope to have Minister for Justice Alan Shatter excluded from the Garda Representative Association annual delegate conference, due to take place in Westport, Co Mayo, at the end of April.

The division, of which Garda Donohoe was a member, intends to put forward a motion at the association’s executive meeting next Wednesday calling for the Minister not to be sent an invitation. The decision to call for his exclusion was made prior to the murder of DetectiveGarda Donohoe. The late detective was at the association divisional meeting when members agreed to put the issue of excluding the Minister to the executive.

Meanwhile, Mr Shatter has responded to reports he was asked by Garda Donohoe’s widow not to attend her home following her husband’s killing. A spokeswoman said Mr Shatter spoke briefly with Caroline Donohoe on Wednesday.