Border car rammings linked to Detective Adrian Donohoe murder gang
At least one member of the gang that murdered Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was involved in a cross-Border IRA cocaine smuggling operation that left six PSNI officers and two gardaí injured, An Garda Síochána believes.
Three decoy cars driven by young criminals, working for south Armagh IRA smugglers, were involved in a series of incidents in which police cars on both sides of the Border were rammed to distract attention from the car believed to be moving the drugs.
The south Armagh criminals are believed to have moved into drug smuggling after the introduction of a new type of dye in diesel severely cut their revenue from fuel smuggling.
Gardaí and the PSNI have identified a key IRA smuggler who is believed to have been driving the saloon car which was involved in moving the cocaine across the Border during the early hours of December 18. The main suspect is in his late 30s and son of a close associate of Provo boss Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.
Two cousins of the cocaine smuggler are believed to have been involved in the robbery of cash from the Lordship Credit Union in Dundalk in January 2013, during which Detective Garda Donohoe (41) was murdered. No charges have been brought in the case despite a lengthy investigation. Another associate of the gang, Adrian Crevan Mackin (24), shot dead Garda Tony Golden (36), a father-of-three, in Omeath, Co Louth, in October 2015.
The two cousins who shot Detective Garda Donohoe have continued to work for the IRA smugglers in south Armagh and gardaí and the PSNI believe they were involved in the cocaine smuggling operation that led to the Garda and PSNI injuries. It is understood a decoy car driven by the gang was used to ram a Garda car close to the Border at Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan. Two gardaí were injured.
Gardaí notified the PSNI, who stopped a stolen van at Lismore outside Crossmaglen. The PSNI were about to speak to the driver when another car came on the scene and crashed into the police car. Two officers were injured. A short time later the PSNI said two further police vehicles were targeted.