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'Taunts and lies': Why the Adrian Donohoe case is a personal mission for gardaí

Killed in the line of duty, Adrian Donohoe’s colleagues have vowed not to rest until his killers are brought to justice.

Image: PA Archive/PA Images

DETECTIVES KNOW WHO killed Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in 2013 but the five-man gang has evaded justice for four years.

The senior officer was shot dead at the Lordship credit union near Bellurgan, Louth, as he responded to an armed raid at the premises.

His killers have never been brought to justice, although gardaí and foreign-based police departments know their identities. The gang of five involved in the attack escaped the scene with just €4,000.

Marking the anniversary of the killing last week, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan described his death as a “brutal and senseless murder”.

But it is the fact that these five men are living their lives, moving countries, having children and settling down which is infuriating officers nationwide, especially within the Louth division. For many members, getting justice for their colleague is something they will never stop fighting for.

For many lead investigators on the case, it has become somewhat of a personal mission to see these men imprisoned for murdering Detective Garda Donohoe.

Senior sources have told TheJournal.ie how suspects have laughed in the faces of officers, knowing there was no evidence which could be used against them.

To this day, gardaí are reliant on one person with crucial information to come forward and to do what’s right.

Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe's funeral United in grief: Thousands attend the funeral of Adrian Donohoe in 2013. Source: Niall Carson/PA

Chief Superintendent Seán Ward said on Wednesday the force was “engaged with and working closely” with police forces in the United States and continental Europe, as well as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in relation to the investigation.

“Of course there is a transnational aspect to it,” he said. “I’m not going to go into the details of it, but the co-operation we are receiving from those police forces outside our own jurisdiction is excellent and is contributing to the investigation greatly.

“Wherever they are, I can assure you we will find them, track them down and bring them back here. This is a highly complex investigation and it is important that we make sure we have every single detail right.”

Over the last four years, investigating officers have carried over 5,600 individual enquiries, taken over 2,500 witness statements and examined in excess of 20,000 hours of CCTV footage.

Most of the suspected killers are in the United States working in the construction industry. They switch their time between states in a bid to keep the US authorities from knowing their location. However, in recent days there has been attempts to bring the suspected triggerman back to the State.

File Photo Its been 4 years today since Adrian Donohoe was killed. End. Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe

One man remains on the island of Ireland, moving between the North and the Republic, robbing high-end cars to order, masterminding armed robberies north of the border and running small amounts of drugs back across the border and into Louth.

Detectives for the gardaí and PSNI are aware of this man’s link to Detective Garda Donohoe’s murder and both police forces are actively keeping him under surveillance.

As things stand, senior officers are biding their time before requesting the deportation orders of at least three people from the United States.

For many in the Louth division, they feel it is a case of ‘when and not if’ for those they believe to be behind the murder of one of their own.

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