The widow of murdered detective Jerry McCabe has called on the Irish government to crack down on the ‘dark pockets’ in Ireland after the latest police killing.
On Friday night father of two Adrian Donohue became the first Irish policeman killed in the line of duty since Ann McCabe’s husband Gerry was shot in an IRA gun attack in 1996.
Dundalk based detective Donohue was shot during a robbery at a credit union near the border in County Louth.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent newspaper, Mrs McCabe said there ‘dark pockets’ in Ireland that have to be examined after the shooting dead of another officer.
She said it was unbelievable to hear that another serving police officer had been gunned down while doing his duty.
Ann McCabe told the paper: “We all thought those dark days were left behind. Seventeen years later and to see that we are looking down the road at this again – it is just unbelievable.
“As Jerry would say, ‘There are dark pockets to be looked at’.
“God love that poor family - a young family with children. I can just imagine what they are going through, it brings it all up again.
“They will have some long days ahead of them, but they can rely on the support of An Garda Siochana (Irish police force) and the wonderful support of the public.”
Mrs McCabe added that the murder would resonate across the force.
She said: “They are all very traumatised - that they can go out to work and not come back. It doesn’t bear thinking about. Who knows what is going to happen? But that is their job.”
Jerry McCabe’s brother-in-law Pat Kearney, a retired police office, spoke of his shock at the latest killing after hearing the news at a police function in Limerick.
Kearney said: “We were absolutely shocked when the phone call came in of what happened in Louth. All of Jerry’s friends were there at the event – everyone there worked with him.
“Ben O’Sullivan was with me and the phone call came in and it was absolutely dreadful. Ben is still strong and healthy and positive about getting on with life, but everyone was so upset when we heard of what happened that poor detective.
“Everything was going well and then we got this news – everyone was devastated to hear it. Straight away everyone was talking about it and reminiscing about Jerry.
“At the time, Jerry’s death was a shock to the culture of the country and the Gardai (police). What can you say after this atrocity?
“It is nothing but traumatic for that family. It is another young family shattered out of the blue - they have lost their father, lost their husband, lost their brother. It is awful.
“These vicious criminals don’t give a damn about other people, about the communities or about Ireland. They are just trying to enrich themselves.
“The police know who these scumbags are but they need back-up by the State to get these undesirables off the streets. Our laws are not strong enough.
“Why do we put up with this crazy carry-on? Why can’t we put them off the streets?”