Tributes have been made to a Garda detective who was shot dead in Ireland last night in a botched hold-up.
Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was killed outside a credit union near Dundalk, County Louth at around 9.30pm last night.
It is understood four men were waiting outside to rob Lordship Credit Union at Bellurgan, Jenkinstown - about seven miles outside Dundalk town.
The detective approached the men and a number of shots were fired before they fled in a grey Volkswagen Passat.
He was pronounced dead a short while later. Although traumatised, it is believed his colleague was left physically uninjured.
Officers sealed off the area for three to four miles in each direction for a forensic examination and a Garda helicopter was deployed for the search.
Alan Shatter, the minister for justice, equality and defence said: "I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner of the dreadful news of the brutal murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohue who was on duty in County Louth last night.
"The Irish people rightly have great respect and admiration for members of An Garda Siochana and the work they do in protecting the community.
"They will share my revulsion and horror that a Garda has so tragically lost his life in the course of his duties.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of Adrian, who lost his life in carrying out his duty in the best traditions of the brave men and women of An Garda Siochana.
"I know that An Garda Siochana will spare no effort in ensuring that those responsible are brought to justice.
"In doing so, they have the unswerving support of the Government and Irish people at this very difficult time."
Detective Garda Donohoe, attached to the Detective Unit in Dundalk said he was "deeply saddened" to hear of his colleague's death.
He said: "At this time my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire force are with the family, friends and close colleagues of Adrian.
"Ar dheis laimh De go raibh a anam." (at God's right hand may his true soul be).
The Lordship Credit Union, where the killing took place, was described as a hub of the small community.
It is believed staff were locking up when the incident occurred last night.
Gardai have appealed for witnesses to contact them at Dundalk Garda Station.