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Friday 30 September 2016

Suspects for callous Jerry McCabe killing still on the run 20 years later

Paul Williams

Published 06/06/2016 | 02:30

Memorial ceremony: Ann McCabe with her husband Jerry
L-R Ann McCabe and Jerry
Memorial ceremony: Ann McCabe with her husband Jerry L-R Ann McCabe and Jerry

Family and colleagues of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe will gather in the early morning light at Adare to mark the exact moment he was shot dead, 20 years on.

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The garda's family - led by his widow Ann - will lay a wreath at 6.50am at the spot where the merciless attack took place on June 7, 1996.

Four men served time for their involvement in the raid but two other senior Provos who were involved in the attack are still officially wanted by gardaí.

However, intelligence sources say that both men have regularly returned to Ireland since the killing.

Det Garda McCabe and his colleague Ben O'Sullivan were escorting a truck delivering cash to post offices in County Limerick when they were ambushed.

Seconds after they stopped behind the An Post truck in Adare, their unmarked squad car was rammed from behind by a stolen Pajero jeep.

Two masked IRA men, armed with AK47 rifles, jumped out and one of them, gang leader Kevin Walsh, fired 15 rounds at the gardaí - killing Jerry McCabe and leaving his colleague critically injured.

Walsh, who was in command of the IRA's Munster brigade, subsequently pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was jailed for 14 years. Three other IRA members, Pearse McAuley, Michael O'Neill and Jeremiah Sheehy, were also jailed.

McAuley was subsequently jailed for 12 years for stabbing his wife several times in an attack on Christmas Eve, 2014.

However, two other men fled the country - Gerry Roche from Dún Laoghaire and Corkman Paul Damery - who were both aged 45 at the time.

Gardaí believe that Roche was the second armed man who jumped out of the jeep and surrounded the squad car.

A founder member and subsequent leader of the INLA, he later defected to the IRA and moved to live in Shannon, Co Clare.

In 1991, a Belgian court convicted the lifelong terrorist of conspiracy to attack British bases in Europe. Roche had admitted being the leader of an IRA gang plotting the attacks.

Security sources believe that he has been living on the European continent but regularly returned to Ireland in secret for talks with Sinn Féin on the peace process.

Wanted

The second man still wanted is IRA bomb maker Damery, whose fingerprints were found on an incendiary device which had been intended to destroy the gang's getaway car, but which failed to go off.

Damery had spent several years working in Central America, where he forged links with several terrorist groups, including Farc in Colombia, which controlled one of the biggest cocaine-production operations in the world. Intelligence sources revealed at the time that he had been back in Ireland a few months before the Adare attack.

It is understood that he fled to Central America to live with his Venezuelan wife and has remained there since.

Irish Independent

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