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'It's terrible a man can go to work and not make it home'

By Alan O'Keeffe, Conor Feehan and Sam Griffin

Published 12/10/2015

At the scene in Omeath gardai cordoned-off the Mullach Alainn estate which is close to the main road through the small border town.

Patrol cars blocked off all access to the estate where the shooting took place and only gardai and locals were allowed access.

Crime scene officers arrived in Omeath at 10.15 pm and were guided up towards the estate by colleagues.

Informed sources said the tragic and violent sequence of events began at around 6pm when gardai stationed in the town only 150 yards away got a call about a domestic incident.

One garda responded to the call but when he arrived at the house he was fired upon and fatally hit. The gunman then turned the gun on himself and also died at the scene. Locals raised the alarm and emergency services raced to the scene.

The woman who had been shot at the beginning of the incident was rushed to hospital and is said to be in a serious condition.

The scene at the housing estate was then sealed off.

Locals gathered at a filling station and pub at the bottom of the hill near the estate as the media and Garda presence increased.

“We don’t know what happened.

“We are all in the dark, and all we know is what we are hearing on the news,” said one local man.

“There are different versions of events coming out, but it is shocking to think that there are people dead and injured in the town,” said a local woman.

Local man Michael Maguire (44) said the entire village was shocked by the killings.

“I arrived at the crossroads and there was terrible commotion.

“There were ambulances and Garda cars all around and even the Garda helicopter was flying overhead,” he said.

“Someone said there had been a shooting but it was only later we discovered it was our local garda who was a lovely man and a gentleman,” he added.

“We can’t believe what has happened. It seems only a couple of years ago that the garda Adrian Donohoe was shot in Belurgan,” he explained.

Jacinta Black, a native of the area, said: “We are devastated for the garda’s family. He had three young kids. It’s terrible that a man can leave his family at 2pm to do a shift and never make it home again. He was well liked and very popular.”

Local priest Fr Christy McElewee said that the small community in Omeath was trying to come to terms with the terrible tragedy that had unfolded in their close knit community.

“Talking to local people they are not familiar with this type of incident, they can’t believe that this is happening,” he said.

“The situation is so shocking, especially as it involved a local officer who everybody knows and liked, a fine family man.”

A local man said the injured woman “was a really nice girl. She worked in a salon, to feed her kids. She was doing her best.”

Speaking of the dead garda, another local said: “He was a good, decent guy, I just knew him from working in the area.”

Belfast Telegraph

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