Members of the gang-of-five are thought to be on green cards, two others in North
Almost a year-and-a-half after the murder of Kilnaleck Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, gardaí are still painstakingly piecing together the file for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
However, three of the gang-of-five suspected of committing the January 25, 2013, murder of Det Garda Donohoe at the Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan, Co Louth, are still in the US. They are understood to be on long-standing green cards, making deportation impossible.
One of the five has been prosecuted on unrelated matters in the North, where the fifth suspect is also living.
The mammoth investigation is over 10 times the size of a normal murder investigation and if CCTV evidence was to be viewed back-to-back it would take 43 years.
Investigators, however, have to completely finish their case file before they can pass it to the DPP.
According to extradition law, there can be no application from Ireland to the US unless the DPP has a charge against any or all of the trio, meaning further questioning of suspects would be impossible - a full case would have to be presented.
The shocking murder took place on the night of January 25 of last year, when Det Gda Donohoe and Det Gda Joe Ryan, assisting staff in a cash transfer, drove into the car park of the credit union.
However, a navy Passat blocked their path and as Det Gda Donohoe got out of his car he was fatally shot.
The gang threatened Det Gda Ryan to stay back or they would shoot him. They then used a hammer to break the window of a car owned by one of the staff and grabbed a bag of money containing just over €4,000. They missed another bag that contained about €30,000. They then sped from the scene in their stolen car, which was later found burned out over the border. Two men were subsequently arrested in relation to the investigation but were released without any charge.
In January gardaí were quoted in national papers as saying that the case was progressing and that they were confident of arrests.
Det Gda Donohoe was given a full state funeral on January 30, 2013, at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church in Dundalk and was buried at Lordship Cemetery. There was an estimated 5,000 people present at the funeral, including 3,500 gardaí.