DRUMKEEN, Ireland (AP) _ Two gunmen on Tuesday shot and killed an off-duty Northern Ireland policeman who was visiting his parents in the Irish Republic, police said.

Police in Dublin said Samuel McClean, 41, was ambushed on a country lane leading to his parents' home at Drumkeen, a village in Donegal County about 11 miles from the Northern Ireland border.

McClean, a bachelor, joined the police force in 1968 and was based at Coalisland in County Tyrone, police said.

The outlawed Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the killing, Britain's Independent Television News reported.

Eight other members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland's regular police force, have been killed by this year by the IRA.

The IRA is fighting to drive the British out of Northern Ireland and unite the Protestant-dominated province with the mainly Catholic Irish Republic.