A €50,000 REWARD has been offered for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the killers of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe..
The reward has been offered by the Irish League of Credit Unions in response to the murder, which took place outside Lordship Credit Union in Co Louth.
A spokesperson said: “We have been inundated with calls from credit unions who have been offering support to our colleagues in Lordship Credit Union and to the gardai. They want to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion.
“We offered this as a way of helping the gardai solve this case.”
And gardai have made an urgent plea to the thief who supplied a getaway car for the killers of Detective Garda Donohoe to contact them in confidence.
Senior officers say the thief will face a charge of conspiracy to murder and 40 years in prison, if convicted, unless he co-operates with their inquiries
The appeal was made last night as detectives made significant progress in their investigation. They have established that the car, a navy-coloured Volkswagen Passat, was stolen from outside a house in Clogherhead, Co Louth, between 11.30pm last Tuesday, January 22 and 4.30am the following day morning.
Gardai are now trying to establish the whereabouts of the Passat between the theft and the murder on Friday night at the Lordship credit union premises.
They are seeking the help of the public, who might have information about a Passat being stored on a premises – or kept in a car park or apartment block – for the two days before the murder.
The 08-registered model was driven erratically as the five-strong gang sped from the murder scene. The car was taken across the Border and set on fire near Darkley, south Armagh, and gardai believe somebody must have noticed the car that night because of the behaviour of the driver. On the evening the Passat was stolen, a large crowd were in Clogherhead for a funeral and gardai hope this might jog people's memories.
Officers are satisfied the five raiders were given logistical support by other members of their gang and have also warned them that they will spend a mandatory 40 years in jail if they do not come forward.
The offer of a €50,000 reward came as Garda press officer Superintendent Dave Taylor appealed directly to the public for help last night on RTE's 'CrimeCall'. Det Gda Donohoe was due to have taken part in the programme as part of the panel of call takers because it was planned to highlight a number of crimes that had taken place recently in the Dundalk area.
Instead, the bulk of the programme was devoted to his brutal murder – the first fatal shooting of a garda for 17 years.
Interviews with Det Gda Donohoe's partner, Det Gda Joe Ryan, and the three credit union officials – two women and a man – confirmed there were four raiders in the car park, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, while the fifth remained in the vehicle.
Associates of the killers or others with information have been asked to contact Dundalk garda station or phone the confidential line, 1800 666111. The main focus of the investigation has been on a cross-border gang, who are originally from Dundalk but living in south Armagh.
This gang has at least 15 members and has been responsible for a spate of crimes in Louth, Armagh, Down, Cavan and Monaghan in the past couple of years. Gardai say they have been involved in criminal activity ranging from burglaries to armed robberies.
Officers know many of those involved in the gang and say they can be extremely violent. The PSNI has also been building up a detailed file on gang members since they moved base to the North. The raiders on Friday night spoke with Dundalk accents.