Tributes paid to Charlestown Garda killed in the line of duty

The late Detective Garda Colm Horkan

The late Detective Garda Colm Horkan

Tributes have been paid to the late Detective Garda Colm Horkan, who was killed following a shooting in Castlerea on Wednesday night.

Detective Garda Horkan was a native of Charlestown and had served as a Garda for 24 years, he was the 89th member of An Garda Síochána killed in the line of duty.

Leading the tributes to Garda Horkan was Garda Commissioner Drew Harris who said on Thursday morning: "I am deeply saddened by the death of my colleague Detective Garda Colm Horkan.

"My thoughts, and the thoughts of all personnel in An Garda Síochána, are with the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Garda Colm Horkan at Castlerea Garda Station and the Detective Unit he served in.

"Colm served the communities he worked in with distinction and pride during his 24 years as a member of An Garda Síochána.

"Detective Garda Colm Horkan is the 89th member of An Garda Síochána killed in the line of duty. Today is a terrible reminder of the significant sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, that Gardaí make to keep people save.

"I want to thank the local community in Castlerea and the country as a whole for the support they have shown to An Garda Síochána and individual Gardaí even in the short time since the incident.”

The late Garda Horkan’s body was removed from the scene and brought to Mayo University Hospital where a post mortem was due to take place yesterday (Thursday, June 18 ).

The scene of the shooting at the junction of Patrick Street and Main Street in Castlerea was sealed off pending a forensic examination by the Garda Technical Bureau on Thursday,

Gardai arrested a man in his 40s and detained him at Castlrea Garda Station under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act 1939.

As the incident involved an official Garda firearm - the issue of intent was referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission under Section 102 of the Garda Síochána Act.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone who was in the Castlerea Town Centre area between 11pm on 17/06/2020 and 12:30am on 18/06/2020, particularly any road users who may have dash cam footage, to contact the incident room in Castlerea Garda Station on (094 ) 962 1635.

President Michael D Higgins issuing his condolences said: “News of the tragic death of a Garda detective on duty in Castlerea has come as a shock to us all. An Garda Síochána play a crucial role in our communities and this loss of life damages our society as a whole.

"May I offer my deepest sympathy to the family, friends and colleagues of the Garda, and to all those who have been affected by this tragedy. I have contacted the Garda Commissioner to express my deepest sympathies on this terrible loss of a member of the force.”

An Taoiseach Leo Varadker said: "I extend my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the Garda who has died in the course of their duties.

"Every day our Gardai put themselves on the frontline of crime prevention, on behalf of all of us. This requires regular acts of bravery and courage. Sometimes the outcome is tragic and a Garda makes the ultimate sacrifice in the course of their duties. Our thoughts today are with all those grieving as a result of this tragic incident."

Fianna Fail Deputy Leader and Mayo TD Dara Calleary extended his deepest sympathies to the family, friends and colleagues of Mayo native Detective Garda Colm Horkan.

He said: "I am deeply shocked to hear of the brutal killing of a serving member of An Garda Síochana in Castlerea overnight. My thoughts are with Colm’s family, friends, colleagues, the wider Garda Síochana family and the community of Charlestown of which Colm was such a proud and active member.

"I condemn in the strongest terms possible any attack on members of the Gardaí who each day go out to work with the sole aim of keeping us safe. Our Gardaí walk with us on our darkest days and we walk with them today as they mourn their colleague."

Fine Gael TD Alan Dillon said: "I am deeply shocked and upset to hear of the death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, who died in the line of duty in Castlerea.

"I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Detective Horkan’s family, friends and work colleagues. It is an unfortunate reminder of the danger that Gardaí face on a daily basis.

"We offer our support to all members of An Garda Síochána at this time. Throughout this pandemic, the crucial role of frontline worker’s across the country has been exemplary."

"The role played by An Garda Síochána has helped this country come through Covid-19 to date, but last night’s events in the most callous fashion relays the harsh reality of what the Gardaí face on a daily basis.

"I knew Detective Garda Horkan on a personal level, he was a huge supporter of Mayo Gaa and I spent some time in his company last May in New York. Colm was a pleasure to be around, and will be dearly missed by all who knew him."

Local Sinn Fein councillor Gerry Murray expressed his sympathies saying “It is a terrible tragedy for Colm’s family and for the wider Charlestown community.

"He was a well liked and well respected member of the Gardaí, his family have been involved in businesses in the town for many years and are well respected.

"He had a deep association with the GAA in Charlestown and was a much valued member of the club and he will be sadly missed by all.

"I’d like to offer my sympathies to his family and friends at such a devastating time.”


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