Two men including an Irish Garda (police officer) have been killed in a murder/suicide attempt in the border town of Omeath, County Louth, perpetrated by a man well-known to police.

The policeman was named as Garda Tony Golden, a father in his 30s with three young children. The shooter was named as Adrian Crevan Mackin from County Down. Mackin was on bail awaiting trial for dissident IRA membership.

The tragedy occurred after Mackin’s wife, who has not been named, went to the local police station and reported she was in fear of her life. She told police her 24-year-old husband wanted to kill her and then himself.

Garda Tony Golden and other police accompanied the woman to the house. Golden, a Ballina, County Mayo, native who lived locally, was gunned down by Mackin after he first shot his wife, who had tried to enter the bedroom he was in. Golden followed her and was fatally shot.

Despite frantic efforts to revive him, Golden died at the scene. The shooter shot himself and later died in the hospital. The woman was seriously injured and is in critical condition in a local hospital.

Mackin, the gunman, had been on bail awaiting trial for dissident IRA membership at the Special Criminal Court, in Dublin. He had been arrested in early 2015 following a joint Garda-Police Service of Northern Ireland operation to target dissident republicans in the border area.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald stated she was “appalled” by the killing of the garda.

“The fact that a garda has laid down his life while protecting the community is a cause of great sadness. His death will be mourned by the entire nation, grateful for the service which he gave to it.

“Today’s tragic events are a stark reminder of the risks which members of An Garda Síochána face day in day out trying to keep our communities safe. I know our communities will stand with An Garda Síochána at this most difficult time for them.

“While no words at this time can be expected to console his wife and children, his family, his colleagues and all who loved him, they know that he gave his life in the best traditions of An Garda Síochána protecting the community he was so proud to serve.”

A statement from Garda Headquarters said: “Gardaí at Dundalk are investigating a shooting incident which occurred at a house near Omeath, Co Louth, at approximately 6pm this evening, Sunday October 11th.

“Two people (adult males) have been fatally injured and one adult female seriously injured as a result of this incident. We can confirm that one of the deceased was an on duty member of An Garda Síochána.

“The scene is currently preserved pending a Garda technical examination.”

Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan gave her sympathies to the dead garda’s family.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of my colleague in a fatal shooting incident this evening while carrying out their duties,” she said.

“At this time my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Garda service are with his family, friends and colleagues.

“This incident highlights the unique nature of the job carried out by the men and women of An Garda Siochana, and the dangers they face every day.”

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) stated it was “shocked and saddened by the awful news.”

“This dreadful, dreadful news is the deepest fear of every police family. This puts everything we do into perspective,” said GRA president Dermot O’Brien.

“At this time of distress, the garda family will be doing everything possible to support the late garda’s relatives and loved ones, friends and colleagues.”

The dead policeman was the second shot in the same region in recent years. Garda Adrian Donohoe was gunned down in an aborted robbery nearby where yesterday’s killing happened. His murderer is alleged to have fled to the US. Donoghue was the first Irish garda shot in the line of duty since 1996.

Garda Tony Golden (RIP) photographed with his family. The police officer was killed in a murder / suicide situation. The shooter was allegedly a member of the IRA.