Martin McDermott, PICTURED RIGHT, 26, from Raphoe, was serving a seven-year sentence for the manslaughter of Buncrana-based Garda Gary McLoughlin.
He was reported missing from a ‘holiday camp’ prison this evening.
The exact circumstances of how he escaped are not yet known. He was at Loughan Open Prison in Blacklion Co Cavan – dubbed a holiday camp by criminals sent there. There is already huge anger from colleagues that McDermott was jailed there. It takes around ten minutes to walk from the jail into Northern Ireland.
McDermott was sentenced in July 2011. The prison system decided to send him to the open prison which is supposed to be for low-risk offenders. McDermott is a convicted burglar, drink-driver, thief and killer.
Garda McLoughlin died after suffering multiple injuries as a result of the crash on December 13th, 2009 at Lisfannon, Burt.
An inquest just six weeks ago into the death of the 24 year old Garda, from Foxfield, Fenagh, Co Leitrim, heard how he was asked to assist detectives who were pursuing a car during a 30km chase.
Detectives Noel Jones and Bernard Mullins had followed a red Opel Astra after it had sped off from The Grove garage at Bridgend earlier that night.
The Astra, driven by McDermott, had reached speeds of more than 150 KPH as it tried to shake off Gardai.
It travelled to the town of Manorcunningham before travelling back towards Bridgend with the aim of escaping across the border to Derry.
Detectives Jones and Mullins alerted Garda Gary McLoughlin and his partner Garda Bernard McLaughlin that the car was coming their way.
The uniformed Gardai asked if they would deploy the ‘stinger’ device to stop the speeding car but were told it was too dangerous as the Astra could lose control.
Instead they were instructed just to get the registration number of the speeding car.
Garda Bernard McLaughlin revealed how his partner had slowed down and was travelling on the hard shoulder to get the license plate.
However seconds later McDermott came at them on his wrong side of the road.
“I saw a haze of lights and Gary said “This is him.” I studied the car and realised instantly it was travelling towards us at phenomenal speed and I shouted that he was going to hit us. It was like a rocket.
“Gary pulled left hard into the ditch and if he hadn’t it would have hit us straight on,” he said.
After that Garda Bernard McLaughlin said he awoke to find his partner trapped in the car before he finally came through realising he was in horrific pain.
“He was in a lot of pain and was calling for his mum and dad Noel and Una and his girlfriend Shauna,” he said.
Such was the force of the collision that the engine of the Opel Astra was ripped from the car and thrown down the road.
Martin McDermott, now 26, of Castlegrove, Raphoe, was also thrown out of the car and was fond 60 yards down the road by Gardai.
The inquest heard how he told ambulance staff to ‘go f*** yourself.’
Tonight McDermott is on the loose.