THE brutal murder of a Garda detective in an armed robbery near Dundalk in Co Louth on Friday night was an atrocity that has the government and security authorities in the Irish Republic looking at the prime suspects coming from either so-called dissident republicans or professional career criminals.
Motive for the crime at the Jenkinstown credit union was obviously financially-related. But, even with a Garda patrol in close vicinity of the planned robbery, the culprits were not deterred by the possibility of being apprehended.
The murder of Adrian Donohoe, committed about 10 miles from the border, has alarmed the Garda command and, if dissident republicans, who were responsible for callously leaving a device at the Omagh home of a policeman at the weekend, are found to have been responsible it could also have security ramifications on this side of the border for the PSNI.
Dundalk was a hotbed of militant republicanism during the Troubles and it is known that dissident elements have a presence there.
The murder of another Garda officer, the first since Detective Jerry McCabe was shot dead by a Provisional IRA gang in Adare, Co Limerick in 1996, will be uncomfortable for Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, in whose Dail constituency the latest killing occurred. But no doubt there will be the usual evasive words from a man who remains in total denial of any personal IRA involvement.
Garda detectives will pursue Adrian Donohoe’s killers with all the resources at their disposal. They will get the full cooperation of the PSNI, for defeating serious crime, from whatever source, is the primary aim of both forces.