Five years after an Irish detective's murder in County Louth police believe his killer remains at large in the United States.
January 25 marked five years since Irish Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was slain on the job, shot to death by an armed gang during a botched robbery at a credit union in Bellurgan, Co. Louth.
The five suspects in the killing – three of whom fled to the U.S. not long after committing the crime – are still at large. They are known to the gardai, and the Irish police force has renewed its plea for those living here to come forth with information that could help lead to arrests and convictions.
“We are building our case and it is going well, but what I would say is that we know there are people in New York and Boston who have information and we would like to hear from them,” Detective Inspector Patrick Marry, based in Dundalk, Co. Louth, told the Irish Voice on Monday.
Last June, U.S. law enforcement authorities who have been working closely with the gardai plastered the Irish enclaves of Yonkers and Woodlawn in the Bronx with posters seeking leads on Donohoe’s murder. The campaign, which promised a “substantial reward” of €100,000, prompted many calls to the gardai with information, some of which was “quite useful,” Detective Inspector Marry said.
However, investigators remain certain that there are others who did not come forward, and they’ve also widened their public appeal to Boston, where one of the suspects still resides.
“People saw the posters, saw the article in the Irish Voice and IrishCentral and we did get many calls as a result,” Detective Inspector Marry said.
Irish detectives have followed up on the leads. The chief suspect in the case, a native of Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh, relocated to New York two months after the murder using a U.K. passport, and remained here until he was apprehended and deported to Dublin last May.
He was immediately sent to prison for crimes committed in 2011 involving a stolen car, and he remains incarcerated. He is due for release later this year.
While in New York, the suspect used his given name, was employed in construction and engaged with many people who the Irish police would like to speak with.
He also had a social media presence, and a source told the Irish Voice that he dressed as a cop for a Halloween party. He and his Irish partner, who has since returned to Ireland, also became parents to a son.
Two of the suspects went to Boston after the crime. One of them returned home, and one still remains here.
Gardai made inquiries in Boston with a view to speaking with the Irish community there, and are prepared to travel should any solid leads materialize.
For those who may be fearful of coming forward with information that may help the case, Detective Inspector Marry said they shouldn’t be.
“There is no reason to be apprehensive. I can say that there is nothing to be afraid of. All calls will be handled in confidence,” he added.
Detectives are building their case methodically, he said, and “we are resolute and making progress.”
“The investigation is ongoing and we are still making inquiries. We would very much like to hear from people in the U.S. who have information and we hope they will make contact,” Detective Inspector Marry said.
Dundalk Gardai appealing for assistance & information on the fifth anniversary of the murder of Garda Adrian Donohue. Europol Interpol & PSNI assisting. pic.twitter.com/uVjNPTa3Ms— Charlie Flanagan (@CharlieFlanagan) January 25, 2018
Detective Donohoe’s death shocked Ireland, a nation unaccustomed to police officers dying in the line of duty. A 41-year-old married father with two small children, he and his partner were escorting takings from a local credit union when their convoy was ambushed. Donohoe was shot and his partner was taken at gunpoint from their car. Donohoe died at the scene, and the killers fled over the border to Northern Ireland.
“I am speaking to you in particular – the family and friends of these people who were involved in the murder – your mind will never have peace until you tell the truth of what happened to Adrian. It is not too late to do the right thing,” Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan told the Irish media last week.
“Some are in the country, some have left the country and sought protection in other jurisdictions. That does not prevent us following them to the ends of the earth and we certainly will.”
For those with information, contact the investigation team in Dundalk at 011-353-87-1326930; the New York investigation team at 347-304-6685; or Crimestoppers Ireland at 011-353-800250025.