Police have released details of the Omeath shooting, which claimed the life of garda Tony Golden, including the fact that the father of the female victim heard the shots, from the car out front, and dialed 999.
At a press conference in Dundalk on Monday the police praised Golden, the “hero garda” who entered the house with a female complainant of domestic abuse. Golden and the complainant were both shot by Adrian Crevan Mackin at 16 Mullach Alainn, Omeath, County Louth, on Sunday evening. Mackin then turned the gun on himself. Golden and Mackin died of their wounds while the female remains in a critical condition in the hospital.
The press conference at the Dundalk Garda Station heard how Golden had taken a statement from the complainant, Mackin’s partner, on Sunday. The victim and her father had visited the garda station to make a complaint about domestic abuse.
"Following the taking of the statement of complaint both Garda Golden and the female, accompanied by her father, went to her home at 16 Mullach Alainn, Omeath.
"Both Garda Golden and the female entered the house. Her father remained outside.
"Shortly afterwards gunshots were heard in the house. Her father immediately raised the alarm and the gardai were contacted by way of 999.
The police and emergency services responded immediately, but unfortunately it was too late.
Curley continued, "On entering the house garda Tony Golden was found with a number of gunshot wounds which proved to be fatal.
"Another male, who has now been identified as Adrian Crevan Mackin, was found with a fatal gunshot wound.
"The female who had made the complaint was found in the house with a number of serious gunshot wounds.
"She has been removed to hospital and remains in a critical condition," Superintendent Gerry Curley continued.
"A firearm was recovered at the scene. A full investigation is now underway into all aspects surrounding this incident."
Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan commiserated with the local community and announced that all aspects of the investigation will be completely followed.
She said, “My thoughts are with the families of all the individuals involved in this absolutely horrific and tragic incident.
"Our thoughts are also with the bereaved family of Mr Mackin, but I suppose our thoughts today are especially with the Tony Golden's wife Nicola and his three young children, his parents and his wider extended family, and particularly the members of Dundalk district, but also right across An Garda Siochana."
O'Sullivan paid tribute to the emergency services who responded and commended their professionalism. She also extended her thanks to the people Ireland for their outpouring of sympathy and support.
He added, “Tony was a well-respected member who was held in high esteem. He was out there. He lived in the community; he worked in the community, and he served that community with dignity, pride and distinction.
"He was a very very proud family man and for his wife Nicola and his parents the loss is unthinkable," she added.
Fine Gael Councillor for Drogheda, Richie Culhane, a former police officer, told RTE’s Morning Ireland that Louth “still remains a very dangerous place to work.” He added that the police working in the border area are putting their lives at risk every day. He said further recruitment in the force is needed.
Speaking to Newstalk's "Breakfast" radio program Dermot O’Brien, the Garda Representative Association President, described the crime as “cold blooded murder – a despicable act.”
Cllr Richie Culhane says it's time Government got real on tackling crime and addressed the resourcing deficits within the force.— LMFM RADIO (@LMFMRADIO) October 12, 2015
He said, “Tony Golden was a friend, a colleague, he was a brother in blue.
“Ireland has lost a hero; he laid his life on the line for the community he served.
“Tony was a married man with three young children, and yesterday he went to a call and, sadly like all members of An Garda Síochána, his dedication to serve and protect has ended with the tragic loss of his life.”
The father of three grew up in the rural area of Culleens where his parents, David and Brid, had a small farm. He was one of six children and was remembered today by his community as being quiet and sports mad.
O’Brien added that questions now needed to be asked about Irish bail laws as Crevan Mackin was out of bail await a trial for terrorist offenses. The 24-year-old shot Golden and his own partner before turning the gun on himself.
The Irish Independent reported that Mackin had been questioned on a number of occasions and was charged with membership of a dissident IRA group at the Special Criminal Court in January 2015.
A book of condolence has been opened at the local Dolmen Centre in Omeath. Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan was also due to visit the region on Monday.