THE country most senior garda officer has appealed to those who are shielding the murderers of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe to come forward.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan issued an appeal to those he believed were protecting the gang who shot the officer dead in Louth last year.
"The naked reality is that there are people shielding these killers, they have the knowledge and we are appealing to those people to come forward," he said.
Progress had been made with their inquiries, but he acknowledged that this had been slow.
So far, detectives have assembled 2,100 statements, over 1,200 evidence exhibits and CCTV footage accounting for over 40 years in accumulated real-time recording.
"The investigation has been slow, it has been very deliberate, it has been painful at times in terms of the progress," he said.
"We have identified the people involved and we will continue to compile evidence as necessary to bring about a successful conclusion," he added.
The Commissioner will today make a fresh appeal for help from the public to bring cases against Adrian's killers as the officer's family, friends and colleagues will gather together to remember him this evening.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he was optimistic the gang would be brought before the courts "in the not-too-distant future".
"We cannot have people on this island who believe that they can freely go out and murder innocent people and that there is no consequence," Mr Shatter said.
Officers are satisfied that the killers were carrying two firearms.
A shotgun was used to murder the detective outside the Lordship credit union at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown, Co Louth, on the evening of January 25 last year while the killers also had another firearm.
It has also emerged that a credit union worker, Bernadette McShane who was on duty on the night of the murder, is suing her employers.
The High Court case will focus on the trauma and shock she suffered as a result of the robbery.
Legal papers were lodged last month.
The murder probe - One year on: See page 16