The conviction of Aaron Brady for the capital murder of Garda Adrian Donohoe has led to a day of “mixed emotions” for the gardaí, while those complicit in the murder who remain at large can expect ‘a knock at the door’.
Those were the words of Deputy Commissioner John Twomey this afternoon. He added “our thoughts and our prayers are with (Garda Donohoe’s) wife Caroline and his extended family”.
Speaking at a press briefing at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, Deputy Commissioner Twomey said that the “clear message” is that the “investigation continues”.
“There were other people involved in this horrific crime, and you will be brought to justice,” he said.
“We will make every effort and leave no stone unturned. I also want to make an appeal to the people who committed the crime, that we will be knocking on your door. We will make sure that you pay for this horrendous act."
Garda Donohoe was shot dead at the Lordship Credit Union near Dundalk in January 2013 during a robbery by a gang of five, the remainder of whom remain at large. His death, the first of a Garda in the line of duty in 17 years, led to an enormous international investigation which culminated with the conviction of Brady earlier today.
That conviction, for the heightened offence of capital murder, bears with it a possible maximum sentence of 40 years.
Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan, the presiding officer for Louth gardaí, said that Detective Donohoe’s murder had left his family “totally devastated”.
“This sense of loss, sadness, and grief will never leave Adrian’s family, his friends, and his colleagues,” he said.
Superintendent Mangan said that the investigation had involved “unprecedented cooperation” from international police organisations, with particular praise directed to the US Department of Homeland Security.
“Today is a positive step,” he said. “It’s important that it’s a step towards ensuring that all persons involved in the murder of Adrian, and the subsequent provision of assistance to those involved, will be brought to justice. We will never cease in our quest to bring accountability to those who have murdered Adrian. We owe that to Adrian’s memory.”
He renewed the force’s appeal “to any person who has any information whatsoever” to come forward.
To that end, he said that the gardaí have received “huge assistance from people all over the world”.
“The Irish community in America, communities all over the world, borders didn’t impede us in this investigation.” He said that the verdict had delivered “a huge sense of relief” to all concerned. Meanwhile, he said he hopes the verdict of capital murder would prove a deterrent to other criminals.
“The verdict of capital murder is very rare. It’s there for a reason to deter criminals like Aaron Brady from picking up a firearm and challenging the rule of law,” he said.
“They murdered Adrian, they went into Northern Ireland, and they thought that the border would save them, but borders couldn’t save them, the long arm of the law extended into the United States of America and ensured that Aaron Brady received justice today.”