A GARDA chief superintendent paid tribute to the massive level of support from the public following the shooting dead of a detective in the line of duty.
Standing alongside the queue of people signing a book of condolences for Det Gda Adrian Donohoe at Dundalk Garda Station, Garda Chief Supt Pat Magee said it was a "very sad" day for the force.
"We are getting huge help and with the condolences, there is massive support locally. It is very sad, there is no doubt about it," said Chief Supt Magee.
"We are supporting his wife and family."
Mother and daughter Maura and Avril McDonnell, from Dundalk town, described the killing as "devastating". A couple who also signed the book of condolences said they had informed gardai they had passed the scene only minutes before the shooting.
Vincent O'Hare, a friend from Lordship, outside Dundalk, where Det Gda Donohoe had lived and played an active role in St Patrick's gaelic football club, said: "I'm a father myself and if my son grew up like him I'd be happy."
Flags were flying at half-mast at the clubhouse.
Former Louth senior football manager Peter Fitzpatrick said: "He was a gentle giant. He was an awfully genuine person. The amount of voluntary work he did was second to none.
"He was very approachable. He was such a genuine person."
Mr Fitzpatrick said the number of gardai working to guard communities needed to be re-examined. "People will be afraid, when a husband who is a garda or a ban garda leaves their house, are they going to come home safe."
Rose McEneaney, secretary of the GAA club, said the killing had left an "awful void".