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Two years on ... but no arrests: A community gathers to remember Garda Adrian Donohoe

Three members of the South Armagh gang said to be behind the killing are believed to be in the US.
Jan 23rd 2015, 6:00 PM 11,665 23

Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

THOUSANDS ARE EXPECTED to attend a candlelit vigil in Louth this evening in memory of Garda Adrian Donohoe, who was shot dead outside Lordship Credit Union in the tiny community of Bellurgan two years ago.

The 41-year-old father of two was killed during an armed robbery in Louth on 25 January 2013.

Speaking last year, Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan said the force remained determined to bring his murderers to justice.

There have been no arrests and no charges brought in the investigation to date. However, gardaí have taken thousands of statements relating to the case, and reviewed over 400,000 hours of CCTV, among other tasks.

Officers have also travelled to the US, where three of the suspects from the South Armagh gang believed to be behind the attack are currently living.

Two members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation are heading up the 24-month-old investigation — backed up by 20 detectives and gardaí from the local area.

“Normally with a murder investigation, there might be three to four hundred jobs or tasks associated with the case — obtaining evidence and so on. This case has generated around 5,000 jobs,” a source close to the investigation said.

Adrian Donohoe murder Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan makes a media appeal last year. Source: Niall Carson

O’Sullivan’s predecessor, Martin Callinan, hosted a media appeal at Dundalk Garda Station on the first anniversary of the killing last year, where he vowed that anyone coming forward with information would be protected by the force.

No similar set-piece briefings are being planned for this weekend — however, O’Sullivan is expected to speak with reporters at a memorial mass planned for this Sunday at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church, where Detective Donohoe’s funeral took place.

The State funeral for Garda Adrian Donohoe on Wednesday 30 January 2013. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Garda Commemoration Adrian Donohoe's name is seen on a roll of honour at the Garda training centre in Templemore, Co Tipperary. Source: Niall Carson

Local councillor and former detective Richie Culhane said he expected people would be brought before the courts in due course.

“I keep up to speed with the investigation team they assure me they are very, very happy with the resources they have. Everything they ask for, they have been given.”

A huge amount of evidence had been generated in the last two years, Culhane said.

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“The investigators know that time is on their side. If it takes another two years, they know that they will eventually have these people before the courts.”

Culhane said he believed much of the evidence gathered to date was circumstantial, but that the team were “very happy” with the direction the inquiry is going.

The gun used in the killing has never been found — and is presumed to have been destroyed in the aftermath of the attack.

“That would be the jewel in the crown,” Culhane said. “I wouldn’t hold out much hope of finding that gun”.

New drink and drug-driving measures launch - Dublin Garda Commissioner Noirín O'Sullivan. Source: Niall Carson

Speaking to RTÉ News this morning, Fr Michael Cusack — who delivered a powerful sermon at Garda Donohoe’s funeral — said the lack of any major breakthrough in the case was “a little disheartening”.

This evening’s vigil is planned for 9.15 at Lordship Credit Union. There will then be a walk back to St Patrick’s Gaelic football club, of which Adrian was a member.

“Everyone is welcome to attend. Please bring a candle along,” the club posted on Facebook. 

Read: Louth GAA club to mark anniversary of Detective Adrian Donohoe’s death with candlelight walk

Read: Remembrance medal presented to family of Adrian Donohoe

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Daragh Brophy

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