Tributes paid to detective murdered by armed raiders in Louth credit union; no arrests as yet

Tributes have poured in for a Garda detective who was shot dead in Co Louth last night in a botched hold-up.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was killed outside a credit union near Dundalk, Co Louth at around 9.30pm last night.

It is believed staff were locking up when the incident occurred last night.

Local councillor Declan Breathnach said it was not unusual for it to remain open late into the evening.

“It would be fairly busy on a Friday evening, with some people just getting their week’s pay or wanting to sort out money for the weekend,” Mr Breathnach said. “This was just such a despicable, heinous act. I still can’t believe it but I utterly condemn it.”

Justice Minister Alan Shatter said no effort would be spared in bringing those responsible for the murder – who are still at large – to justice.

Detective Garda Donohoe, a married father of two in his 40s, was one of two detectives on escort duty when the incident occurred.

It is understood four men were waiting outside to rob Lordship Credit Union at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown – about seven miles outside Dundalk town.

The detective approached the men and a number of shots were fired before they fled in a grey Volkswagen Passat.

He was pronounced dead a short while later. Although traumatised, it is believed his colleague was left physically uninjured.

Officers sealed off the whole area for three to four miles in each direction for a forensic examination and a Garda helicopter was deployed for the search.

TD Alan Shatter said: “I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner of the dreadful news of the brutal murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohue who was on duty in County Louth last night.

“The Irish people rightly have great respect and admiration for members of An Garda Siochana and the work they do in protecting the community.

“They will share my revulsion and horror that a Garda has so tragically lost his life in the course of his duties.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of Adrian, who lost his life in carrying out his duty in the best traditions of the brave men and women of An Garda Siochana."

Detective Garda Donohoe, attached to the Detective Unit in Dundalk, is believed to have lived in the rural Lordship area, on the Cooley Peninsula, around half a mile from the murder scene.

'Deeply saddened'

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, said he was “deeply saddened” to hear of his colleague’s death.

He said: “At this time my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire force are with the family, friends and close colleagues of Adrian.

“Ar dheis laimh Dé go raibh a anam.” (At God’s right hand may his soul be).

Sinn Féin president and Co Louth TD Gerry Adams said he was deeply shocked by the detective’s murder.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and colleagues, and appeal to those with information about this crime to co-operate with the Gardaí,” he said.

Local councillor Jim Loughran condemned those responsible for the shooting, saying they had devastated a small tight-knit community.

The Sinn Féin councillor knew det Donohoe through their local GAA club St Patrick’s, where he was involved with coaching young players.

He described him as “a quiet, decent family man”.

Mr Loughran said: “This was not just an attack on a Garda detective, it was an attack on the whole community,” he said.

The Lordship Credit Union, where the killing took place, was described as a hub of the small community.

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact them at Dundalk Garda Station.

Update 9.50am: The garda press office has confirmed there have as yet been no arrests in connection with det Donohoe's murder. There are conflicting media reports that two arrests were made last night, but this is not the case. More as we get it.

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