TAOISEACH Enda Kenny led tributes to Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, vowing that the husband and father-of-two's killers will serve at least four decades behind bars.
"The penalty for those found guilty of killing a member of An Garda Siochana is a minimum mandatory sentence of 40 years' imprisonment," Mr Kenny said.
"And they will serve it. The laws and authority of this State must not and will not be challenged in the manner of the murder of Detective Adrian Donohoe."
The thugs who came to rob the Lordship Credit Union last Friday stole so much more, Mr Kenny added.
"In the end what they stole was a human life.
"And in doing so they stole a family's happiness, their dreams, they stole the future they imagined living in together, and all that would happen there."
Det Gda McCabe was shot dead by IRA members during the attempted robbery of a post van in Adare, Co Limerick.
His colleague Ben O'Sullivan was also seriously injured in the raid, being shot 11 times.
Mr Adams (pictured) said he wanted to "apologise to Mrs McCabe and the McCabe family, and to Garda Ben O'Sullivan and to the families of other members of the state forces who were killed by republicans in the course of the conflict".
"I am very sorry for the pain and loss inflicted on those families. No words of mine can remove that hurt. Dreadful deeds cannot be undone."
Meanwhile, Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore said Det Gda Donohoe "lived the ideals of public service, and of service to his own community".
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said the grief among Det Gda Donohoe's colleagues was only matched by a resolve to catch his killers, and he also vowed the murderers would serve at least 40 years behind bars.
But Mr Shatter added: "I emphasise that this is a minimum sentence."