Security services on both sides of the border have pledged to work closely to catch the dissident republicans who murdered two soldiers and a police officer.
Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and PSNI Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde met at Police Headquarters in Belfast yesterday for talks. They offered their condolences to the families of the murdered men and said the authorities across the island of Ireland routinely cooperated to tackle violent groups opposed to the peace process.
The remains of Sappers Mark Quinsey (23), from Birmingham, and Patrick Azimkar (21), from London, were returned to their loved ones after a memorial ceremony at Massereene base in Antrim, where they were shot dead on Saturday by the Real IRA.
On Monday, the Continuity IRA gunned down Constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon, Co Armagh.
Sir Hugh said: “The commissioner and myself alongside senior colleagues from both organisations met to discuss a number of policing issues.
“Obviously high on the agenda was the brutal murders of the two soldiers at Massereene Barracks on Saturday night and the callous murder of one of my officers, Constable Stephen Carroll, on Monday evening.
“The relationship between both police services is excellent.
“The Police Service of Northern Ireland, working alongside our colleagues in An Garda Siochana and the security services, is determined to bring those responsible for these despicable murders over the last week to justice.”
Mr Murphy, accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Martin Callinan, expressed condolences on behalf of An Garda Siochana to the widow, family and colleagues of Constable Carroll.
Mr Murphy said: “I spoke with Sir Hugh on Monday evening when I received the news about Constable Carroll to express my condolences to both the family and the Police Service and to assure him of our continued support in tackling and frustrating this small group of criminals.
“An attack on any police officer is an attack on the whole of society,” he added.