MURDER suspect Kieran McLaughlin is still on the run today.
A siege at a house near Burnfoot in Co Donegal ended at dawn, although a massive Garda operation is continuing in the area.
There was no sign of the 58-year-old who is wanted for questioning about the murder in Derry on Thursday of Barry McCrory.
A massive Garda presence off the Brae Road between Burnfoot and Muff ended just after 5 am on Saturday morning.
Vehicles sped off from the area amid speculation McLaughlin had ended a stand-off.
However, it has now emerged that McLaughlin wasn’t there – and he wasn’t in the Garda vehicles leaving the scene.
Gardai are continuing to search the area.
Last night’s massive security operation was sparked by reports the Galliagh man was seen in Muff.
Gardaí already searching the area responded to reports of the suspect in a barn.
A chopper with the armed officers touched down in a field off the Brae Road between Burnfoot and Muff just after 11pm.
An ambulance arrived at the scene at ten minutes to midnight.
Gardai believe Kieran McLaughlin, the chief suspect in the brutal murder of Barry McCrory, shot dead in a flat in Derry city centre on Thursday morning, is inside an outbuilding.
Police took the unusual step on Friday morning of issuing a picture of McLaughlin.
Gardai spent Friday searching Border areas close to Derry in the hunt for the suspect.
It followed reports at teatime that McLaughlin was seen close to a parochial house in Muff.
Gardaí later surrounded a barn used to keep pigs, around 2kms away.
Neighbours told us they haven’t been told what has been going on.
“The first we knew about it was the large Garda presence,” said one.
“We had no idea what was going on.”
The PSNI raided a nmber of homes in Galliagh on the Derry side of the Border as part of the operation.
Earlier the killing has been widely condemned with Prime Minister David Cameron the latest to denounce the shooting.
He was in Belfast to attend a major investment conference and he took time out at the end of the event to condemn the killing of Mr McCrory and that of 46-year-old Brendan Kearney in Belfast on Wednesday night.
He said: “These murders are despicable and the people responsible should be hunted down prosecuted and convicted, they should face justice.”
The dead man’s family, including his mother Anne, father Danny and son Shea attended a peace rally held in Guildhall Square in protest at the killing.
Following a two minutes silence, the crowd of several hundred were told a clear message needed to be sent out from Derry that violence from all quarters was not acceptable in the city.
Meanwhile, Mr McCrory’s body remains in Belfast where a post mortem examination has taken place. The family hope to have is remains returned to them tomorrow with burial expected on Monday.