Northern Ireland

Detective killers held colleague at gunpoint and steal thousands

Det Garda Adrian Donohoe
Image caption Det Garda Adrian Donohoe was the first member of the force to be shot dead on duty since 1996.

A gang that shot dead an Irish police officer also held his colleague at gunpoint while they robbed a credit union in Dundalk, County Louth.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, 41, was killed at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan at about 21:30 GMT on Friday.

The gang stole 4,000 euros cash before escaping from the scene.

Irish police said he was shot without warning and did not produce his weapon before being killed. Prayers have been said for the murdered officer.

It is believed that the raiders knew the credit union money was being escorted by the Irish police.

While Irish police (gardai) have not ruled anything out at this stage they suspect that a cross-border gang was involved in the robbery and murder, and that gang operates in the north Louth-south Armagh area.

The same gang is suspected of having stolen 62,000 euros from the same credit union a year and a half ago, also using shotguns.

The murder scene has remained sealed off for further searches and forensic examination.

More than 100 gardaí are now involved in the investigation, with officers cancelling leave and coming in on their days off. Gardaí from all over the country have also offered to come to the town to help.

Image caption More than 100 gardai are involved in the investigation

Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady said the shooting had "shocked and horrified" everyone.

"The taking of innocent life is always wrong. Detective Garda Donohoe lost his life as he carried out his duty in the service of society," he said.

"I appeal to all of society to unite in rejecting such wanton violence and criminal lack of respect for human life."

Sinn Féin leader and Louth TD Gerry Adams has said that anybody who has information relating to the shooting of Det Garda Donohoe should bring it to gardaí.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Mr Adams said if there was a link to Northern Ireland, then anyone with any information should go to the PSNI.

Mr Adams extended his condolences to Mr Donohoe's colleagues, wife, family and friends.

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