Murder suspect Kieran McLaughlin has eluded police on both sides of the Irish border after armed detectives surrounded a farmhouse in County Donegal.

The Irish Times reports that a police operation at the Donegal house ended without success in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Officers believed McLaughlin, wanted for the murder of Barry McCrory in Derry on Thursday, was holed up in the house situated between the villages of Burnfoot and Muff.

An extensive search of the house and the area failed to locate McLaughlin who has been named publicly as the chief murder suspect by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The PSNI have stated they are looking for the 58-year-old McLaughlin in connection with the murder and took the unusual step of issuing his photo to news organizations.

A joint operation was launched on both sides of the border when information came to light that McLaughlin was in the Donegal farmhouse or close to it.

The PSNI had raided a number of homes in Galliagh on the Derry side of the Border as part of the operation.

McCrory’s murder has been widely condemned on all sides of the political divide.

British Prime Minister David Cameron took time out from a major investment conference in Belfast to speak.

Cameron said: “These murders are despicable, and the people responsible should be hunted down, prosecuted and convicted - they should face justice.”

The McCrory killing followed the Belfast murder of 46-year-old Brendan Kearney on Wednesday night.

McCrory’s family, including his mother Anne, father Danny and son Shea have attended a peace rally held in the Guildhall Square, Derry.

The report says that the crowd of several hundred were told a clear message needed to be sent from Derry that violence from all quarters was not acceptable.

McCrory’s family hope to have his body returned to them after a post mortem in time for a funeral on Monday.