irishtimes.com – Last Updated: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 08:45
Gardai man a checkpoint near the scene of the shooting in Bellurgan last night. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire.Gardai man a checkpoint near the scene of the shooting in Bellurgan last night. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire.

MARK HILLIARD and CONOR LALLY

A detective garda was shot and killed at the scene of an attempted robbery of a credit union last night.

Two of the raiders were arrested shortly afterwards near Dublin city.

It is understood that the deceased, named last night as Det Garda Adrian Donohoe was with another colleague, Det Garda Joseph Ryan, and was on escort duty at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown in Dundalk at around 9.30pm when the shooting took place.

Multiple shots were fired in the incident at the Lordship credit union premises.

The raiders immediately fled the scene in what is understood to be a dark coloured Volkswagen Passat. Two of them were arrested in Whitehall, near Dublin airport and are understood to be from the capital.

Several garda cars had responded instantly in an effort to close down the road network surrounding the town to prevent their getaway. The Police Service of Northern Ireland was also contacted.

Family and colleagues were coming to terms with the tragedy last night. Det Garda Donohoe was in his late thirties and married. He was stationed in Dundalk. His wife and two brothers are all members of An Garda Síochána.

It is believed that one of his brothers had to be informed while on duty in Navan.

A senior Garda source said: “He was on duty in the service of his country and it looks like he could have paid the ultimate price.”

The other detective on duty was understood not to have been hurt in the incident. The scene was sealed off last night for forensic examination.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said he was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Det Garda Donohoe.

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

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the Irish people “rightly have great respect and admiration for members of An Garda Síochána 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 Síochána.”

I know that An Garda Síochána will spare no effort in ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice.

In doing so, they have the unswerving support of the Government and Irish people at this very difficult time.

Gardaí appealed for witnesses to contact them at Dundalk Garda station at 042-9388400, the Garda Confidential Number 1-800-666-111.

Two held after Garda detective shot dead in Dundalk – Irish Times
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