As further details of the killing emerge this afternoon, a shocked nation continues to mourn the late Garda Tony Golden.
The 35-year-old was gunned down in the line of duty yesterday evening in Co Louth by Adrian Crevan Mackin, a suspected IRA member who had been on bail.
Crevan Mackin, 24, took his own life after shooting Garda Golden – who was unarmed, in uniform and responding to a 999 call alone at the time of his death.
The killer had also shot his former partner and the mother of his two children, Siobhán Phillips, 21. This afternoon, she remains in a Dublin hospital receiving life-saving treatment for her critical injuries, which include serious head wounds.
The Newry-native gunman was due to appear at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin at the end of this month. Following a joint Garda-PSNI operation to target dissident republicans he had been arrested and charged with IRA membership at the beginning of this year.
Ms Phillips had already reported an earlier incident involving Crevan Mackin to gardaí – and her relatives had also expressed concerns for her safety.
Meanwhile, dozen of tributes to Garda Golden – who had more than a decade of service to his name – have been made over the last 24 hours. The Garda Representative Association described him as "an Irish hero who died putting his life on the line for his community".
Calling it a tragedy, President Michael D Higgins said he wanted to express his "deepest sympathy to the family and friends" of Garda Golden.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald featured on RTÉ's Morning Ireland today, telling listeners that the "death will be mourned by the entire nation, grateful for the service which he gave to it".
She continued: "Gardaí go out everyday, it takes courage to do their job, going out to face the unknown as they do on a daily basis."
— Michael O'Toole (@mickthehack) October 12, 2015
And local Omeath resident Marie McGuinness told herald.ie that the father-of-three “was a gentle giant and an absolute gentleman".
The garda had been based in the now-closed Kill O'The Grange station in south county Dublin, but was deployed to Co Louth some six years ago.
He lived with his young family locally in the town of Blackrock, and originally hailed from Co Mayo.
Garda Golden leaves behind a wife of nine years, Nicola O'Sullivan, as well as two daughters and a son under the age of eight.
His parents Breege and David, who still reside in Ballina, are also said to be heart-broken and shocked by the tragedy, as are his parents-in-law, Tony and Iris.