Massive manhunt for Garda killer

A massive manhunt is underway for convicted killer, Martin McDermott (25) after he absconded from Loughan House Open Centre yesterday evening (March 15).

A massive manhunt is underway for convicted killer, Martin McDermott (25) after he absconded from Loughan House Open Centre yesterday evening (March 15).

Mr McDermott, Castlegrove, Raphoe, Co Donegal was serving a seven-year sentence for the manslaughter of Fenagh native, Gda Gary McLoughlin in December 2009. He led gardai on a 31 km long, high-speed chase through Co Donegal on December 13, 2009 before crashing his vehicle into a patrol car containing Gda McLoughlin and his colleague Gda Bernard McLaughlin.

Gda Gary McLoughlin later died from his injuries and Gda Bernard McLoughlin suffered serious injuries as a result.

Mr McDermott was convicted of his manslaughter and was sentenced to eight years in prison last July with the final year to be suspended for the manslaughter of Gda Gary McLoughlin and five years for the reckless endangerment of Gda Bernard McLaughlin. He was also convicted of a number of other offences in relation to the chase and resulting crash.

Officials at Loughan House prison first noticed he was missing when they carried out a routine head count at around 5pm yesterday (March 15) evening.

Gardaí and the PSNI have mounted search operations and a European Arrest warrant will be issued.

An investigation will also be carried out into how the escape happened in the first place but questions are already being raised about how a criminal with 91 previous convictions was allowed to serve a manslaughter sentence in an open prison.