TWO MEN, one of whom was a garda in the Irish police force, have been shot dead at a house in Ireland.
Gardai said a woman was seriously injured in the same gun attack which occurred at a home near Omeath, Co Louth at about 6pm.
“We can confirm that one of the deceased was an on duty member of An Garda Siochana,” a spokesman said.
It is understood officers had been called to the property following reports of a domestic disturbance.
An area around the house was sealed off for forensics teams to carry out scenes of crime examinations.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who represents the Louth constituency, expressed shock at the news.
“My thoughts and sympathies are with the families of those who have died,” he said.
Niall Collins, justice spokesman for the main opposition party in Ireland, Fianna Fail, said he was shocked to hear a garda had been killed.
“Obviously details of this incident are still emerging but I am extremely shocked to hear that a member of An Garda Siochana has been killed tonight,” he said.
Mr Collins offered condolences to family and colleagues and Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.
The shooting happened only a few miles in the same county from where Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe was fatally shot on January 25 2013.
The Garda Representative Association (GRA) said it was shocked and saddened over the death of one of its members.
It offered thoughts and prayers to the officer’s family, friends and colleagues.
GRA president Dermot O’Brien said: “This dreadful, dreadful news is the deepest fear of every police family. This puts everything we do into perspective.
“At this time of distress, the garda family will be doing everything possible to support the late garda’s relatives and loved ones, friends and colleagues.”
The Police Service of Northern Ireland also said thoughts were with counterparts in the Irish Republic.
“PSNI will lend any assistance or support required,” the force added.
The dead garda was understood to be aged in his 30s and a married father of three young children.
Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of my colleague in a fatal shooting incident this evening while carrying out their duties.
“At this time my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Garda service are with his family, friends and colleagues.
“This incident highlights the unique nature of the job carried out by the men and women of An Garda Siochana, and the dangers they face every day.”