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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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Candlelit vigil to be held at site of Adrian Donohoe’s death

The anniversary of the death of Detective Garda Donohoe will be marked today in Dundalk.

IT WAS A dark and cold January night when tragedy visited the small Co Louth parish of Lordship.

At around 9.30pm on 25 January 2013, two gardaí were on cash escort duty at the Lordship Credit Union. One of them, Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, lived less than a mile away from where he and his colleague were sitting.

He was stationed in Dundalk, and was well-known and well-liked in the local community, playing a big role in the local GAA club.

It is believed that staff were locking up when the perpetrators arrived, in an attempt to carry out a robbery.

A number of armed raiders approached the gardaí, one of them shooting Detective Donohoe.

He was fatally wounded.

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A checkpoint set up near the scene. Pic: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Four people were said to have fled the scene, driving towards Dundalk in a dark-coloured car.

They left in their wake a traumatised garda and credit union staff, and a widow with two small children.

As the news emerged, tributes were paid to Detective Donohoe. In a joint statement, Sinn Féin councillors Jim Loughran and Edel Corrigan expressed their sympathy to his family.

“This is a close knit community where everybody knows each other. This Garda was admired, trusted and respected by all in the locality,” they said.

The Jenkinstown community were said to be in shock as news travelled about the loss of the well-known garda.

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Lordship Credit Union. Pic: Julien Behal/PA Wire

The Taoiseach was among the many high-profile figures who condemned the shooting. It was, he said, “an outrageous act of cold-blooded violence that has left a family without a husband and father and the Garda Siochána without a brave and valued member”.

President Michael D Higgins said it was a “dreadful crime and all Irish people will be truly appalled by it.”

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan issued a “cry for help” for information from the public about the shooting, saying he was “deeply saddened and shocked” by Garda Donohoe’s death.

The last time a garda had been shot and killed on duty was in 1996.

Days after the shooting, a burned-out car was discovered in south Armagh, leading to a further appeal for information.

Laid to rest

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Garda Donohoe’s funeral. Pic: Julien Behal/PA Wire

The Dáil and Seanad were adjourned on the day of Garda Donohoe’s funeral, which saw a sea of uniformed gardaí gathering at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church in Dundalk.

At the funeral mass, Fr Michael Cusack told the congregation:

I have absolutely no doubt that there are people who today know who has caused this dreadful sorrow in the lives of so many. And if there’s anyone who knows anything about that, if you have any semblance of goodness in you, for god’s sake turn these people in. If not, you are allowing Satan to ruin the lives of more and more people.

Speaking on Morning Ireland earlier this week, locals described the sense of loss since Detective Donohoe’s death.

Alan Duffy, chair of St Patrick’s Gaelic football club, said that snippets of information had come through to those at the club on the night of Garda Donohoe’s death.

“Somebody said a guard was shot, and then went on to mention Adrian,” he remembered.

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Pic: Julien Behal/PA Wire

A year on from Garda Donohoe’s killing, a candlelit vigil will be held at Lordship Credit Union tonight.

Locals, friends and family will gather at 9.15pm for a short period of silence and reflection. From there, they will walk by candlelight to St Patrick’s club grounds.

The focus today will be on remembering Detective Donohoe, but in the background the gardaí are continuing to pursue his killer or killers.

An appeal was made in February of last year for information on a car seat and hammer that could be crucial to the investigation:

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Pic: Gavan Reilly/TheJournal.ie

Cllr Loughran told Morning Ireland: “People would be concerned, the longer it goes on and nobody brought to justice.”

Gardaí continue to appeal for people with information to come forward. They can contact the Garda Confidential line at 1800 666 111.

A Crimestoppers appeal, which has offered a ‘substantial’ reward, also remains in place.

Read: Sinn Féin official disputes claim he knows who killed Adrian Donohoe>

Read: Ultimate sacrifice: the Gardaí who have been killed on duty>

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