South Armagh gang linked to Garda murder

February 4, 2013

The police investigation into last weekend’s murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe is believed to be focusing on an eight-strong south Armagh-based gang, some of whom are known to police in relation to other offences including armed robbery and car theft.

Garda intelligence suggests up to nine people were involved in the robbery at Lordship Credit Union on January 25th during which Garda Donohue was shot dead.  It’s believed detectives have identified a number of people they suspect of having been involved in the killing and, with the assistance of the PSNI, are concentrating their efforts in the south Armagh area.

The getaway car used in the killing was found burnt out at Fews Forest near Keady and police have already seized CCTV recordings from premises between Dundalk and Keady in an attempt to follow the movements of the vehicle.  The Volkswagen Passat was stolen during a robbery in Clogherhead, Co. Louth days earlier.

The murder of Det Garda Donohoe has sent shockwaves through communities in the border region and sparked a collaboration between Gardai and the PSNI, who are working in tandem to apprehend the perpetrators.

Up to one hundred Garda officers are involved in the huge manhunt, along with detectives and specialists from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Special Branch, the Organised Crime Unit, the Emergency Response Unit and the Crime and Security section.

Commissioner Martin Callinan, who is overseeing the investigation, has admitted that turning intelligence into evidence is a painstaking process but said the investigation would not be rushed and that “all available methodologies” would be used in their search for the culprits.

Gardai are emphatic there are several strands to their investigation at the moment and are certain that a significant number of people associated with the gang members will now have full knowledge of the murder.  They are appealing for those people to come forward with information and have revealed that the investigation is gaining momentum with a “phenomenal response” from the public.

Meanwhile, dispelling rumours circulating that a number of arrests were made in the south Armagh area in connection with the murder investigation a spokesperson for the PSNI said: “These rumours are completely without foundation.  There have been no arrests in Northern Ireland in connection with that investigation.”