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'A dark cloud hangs over our small community'

A "POINTLESS and horrific" act that has placed a "dark cloud" over a small community. That is how the cold-blood murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was described today.

Parish Priest of Lordship, Fr Padraig Murphy, who was one of the first people at the scene of the shooting, said that people are struggling to understand what happened.

"The loss of life at any time is dreadful but the very fact that it happened when a man was in the exercise of his duty, and it just seems pointless for the amount of money involved, that they should even have thought of doing so, it's horrific," he said today.

The priest said a "dark cloud has descended on our community."

"People are bewildered at what has happened, it's difficult to come to terms with what's happened," he said.

Kieron Brennan, of the Irish League of Credit Unions, said the killing sent "sheer horror" through the credit union movement.

"The entire community in that credit union catchment area are in a state of shock. They are numb, they are horrified with what has happened and all the messages that we would have had across our movement is of sheer horror.

"[The credit union] is very much part of the local community. It's owned and controlled by members of the community, governed and controlled by members of the community. There were volunteers present on that evening and as you can imagine, some of those volunteers and staff have been extremely traumatised by the events."



Cold-blooded

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins have led the widespread condemnation of the killing.

Mr Kenny, who is due to attend Det Gda Donohoe's funeral, described the crime as "an outrageous act of cold-blooded violence that has left a family without a husband and father and the Garda Siochana without a brave and valued member".

President Michael D Higgins said he was "deeply shocked" at what he said was a "dreadful crime".

Despite the widespread alarm among members of the public, Justice Minister Alan Shatter rejected calls for special legislation in response to the killing. And the Fine Gael TD said the killing had no link whatsoever to garda cutbacks.

"This isn't the moment to be talking about resources. There was no resource issue of any relevance to what occurred on Friday evening," he said. "The Garda Commissioner has stated that he has all of the resources that he requires for the investigation of this terrible crime and for the work that An Garda Siochana do."

However Fianna Fail justice spokesman Niall Collins said it was clear the force was facing a "crisis".

He said a party motion on station closures -- set to be debated this week -- is even more important in the light of Det Garda Donohoe's death.

"The brutal murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe in the line of duty on Friday night will bring added poignancy to this debate," he said.

hnews@herald.ie