POLITICIANS and public officials across Northern Ireland have been unanimous in their condemnation of the murder of a Garda detective on Friday night.
Adrian Donohoe, 41, was shot dead while attending the scene of a robbery in Jenkinstown, Co Louth.
The First and Deputy First Ministers led the condemnation of the murder of the father-of-two, describing it as a “cowardly attack”.
In a joint statement, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said: “Those who would terrorise communities must not be able to evade justice. We must all work together on both sides of the border to make sure they are caught for this murderous deed.
“Anyone with any information should pass it to the PSNI or the Garda immediately.”
The ministers’ comments were echoed by Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, who expressed her deepest sympathies to the family and colleagues of the murdered officer.
“It was a senseless and cowardly act and all right-thinking people will be revulsed by it,” she said.
Justice Minister David Ford called it a “brutal murder”. He said he had spoken to his Irish counterpart Alan Shatter and reinforced his commitment for both jurisdictions to cooperate in the fight against criminal gangs.
The Chief Constable of the PSNI, Matt Baggott, extended his deepest sympathy to the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, and offered his support for the investigation.
SDLP MLA Conall McDevitt said the “appalling crime” had united people across Ireland in condemnation, while fellow Policing Board member Ross Hussey, a UUP MLA, called it a “despicable, cold-blooded murder”.
Religious leaders also offered their condolences to the family and colleagues of Mr Donohoe. Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady said he had been deeply saddened by the shooting, which had plunged wider society into a deep sense of dismay, he said.
And the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, the Most Rev Dr Richard Clarke, said it was a “vicious insult against humanity and against the God who gives us life”.