Garda shot dead and woman seriously injured - gunman takes his own life in incident in Co Louth
* Garda was responding to a domestic incident
* Upon arrival, he was confronted by a man armed with a handgun
* Man fired a number of shots at garda who was fatally injured
* A woman, who was in the house, was also seriously injured
* Gunman took his own life
* Justice Minister & Garda Commissioner have led tributes
A garda has been shot dead in an incident in North County Louth.
A male civilian has also been shot dead and a woman has been seriously injured.
It is believed the woman is in a critical condition.
It's understood the shooting occurred at approximately 6pm this evening.
The incident occurred near Omeath, Co Louth.
It's understood the garda was responding to a domestic incident.
The garda, who is a married father of three young children, called to the house and was confronted by a man armed with a handgun.
The man fired a number of shots at the garda, who was fatally injured.
The woman was in the house at the time and was also seriously injured.
The gunman then shot himself using his weapon.
Gardai are treating the incident as a murder suuicide.
The Garda Press Office issued the following statement: "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 2015. 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."
A neighbour living in the Mullach Alainn housing estate, where the shooting occurred, said there was a "huge garda presence" in the area. Residents were instructed to remain in their homes and have been told that gardai will interview them.
"There's so many gardai here and ambulances as well - I think there are seven ambulances. I don't know how they're all fitting actually."
"I went out and asked the gardai what was going on, and they just said it was serious incident," the resident said.
In a statement, the Garda Representative Association (GRA) said they are shocked and saddened by the news that a colleague had been shot and killed earlier this evening, adding their thoughts and prayers were with the garda's family, friends and colleagues.
GRA President Dermot O’Brien said: “This dreadful, dreadful news is the deepest fear of every police family. This puts everything we do into perspective.
“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.”
Speaking this evening, Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan said: "I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of my colleague in a fatal shooting incident this evening while carrying out their duties.
"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.
"Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh a anam."
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the garda's death will be mourned by the nation.
"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," the minister said.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who represents the Louth constituency, expressed shock at the news.
"My thoughts and sympathies are with the families of those who have died," he said.
Niall Collins, justice spokesman for Fianna Fail, said he was shocked to hear a garda had been killed.
"Obviously details of this incident are still emerging but I am extremely shocked to hear that a member of An Garda Siochana has been killed tonight," he said.
Mr Collins offered condolences to family and colleagues and Garda Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan.
More to follow