This week marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Charlestown native Detective Garda Colm Horkan in the line of duty.
Detective Garda Horkan's family released a statement this week on the loss, which read: "The following is a statement from the heartbroken family of the late Detective Garda Colm Horkan on the first anniversary of his tragic death on June 18, 2020.
"The Horkan family lost a son, a brother, an uncle, his friends and work colleagues lost a dear friend on that fateful night of the 17th into the morning of 18th June 2020. Colm attended for work in Castlerea at 4pm and this was tragically his final tour of duty when he was murdered in the most brutal way that anyone can imagine.
"Colm would have turned 50 in December 2020, he attended every party and function that was being held, always dressed impeccably and had a word for everyone in a quiet unassuming way.
"For the many people who knew Colm and those of you who didn’t, his infectious smile would brighten up any occasion and leave a lasting impression in any room or place.
"D/Garda Colm Horkan was a proud, popular, respected member of An Garda Siochana who loved his job and wore the uniform with great pride while serving the community for over twenty-five years.
"He was kind, thoughtful and a selflessly loyal gentleman to all he encountered both on a personal and professional level. Colm was one of a kind and on that night of the 17th into the morning of the 18th of June, Colm’s life was ended long before his time, and sadly, we never got the opportunity to say goodbye and to tell him how much we dearly loved him. Life will never be the same without Colm.
"With the passage of time, we now mark the first anniversary of Colm's death. As we continue to carry the deep grief that we feel with the loss of Colm, the depth and sincerity of the support from so many people has given us great comfort. We would like to thank everyone for their amazing support over the past twelve months. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis."
Remembering Detective Garda Horkan, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said in a statement: "Colleagues, this day last year, our colleague Detective Garda Colm Horkan went to work for what would tragically be his last tour of duty.
"On the night of June 17 and into the morning of June 18, 2020, Colm was fatally wounded while protecting the community he served. Today is a very sad and difficult day for Colm’s family and friends, his colleagues, the local community, and An Garda Síochána.
"But as well as sadness there is great pride. Great pride in Colm as a person who was loved and respected by so many people. Great pride in Colm’s community spirit and desire to help and support others. Great pride in Colm’s 24 years of dedicated service to An Garda Síochána and the State. Great pride in Colm’s bravery and selflessness to protect the lives of the people he served.
"Colm was the epitome of what all of us in An Garda Síochána should aspire to be – professional, hard-working, supportive, community-focused, and brave. Colm will never be forgotten.
"This Saturday there will be a ceremony in Castlerea to commemorate Colm and the unveiling of two plaques. A video of the ceremony will be made available on Garda social media channels afterwards. It is just one of many fitting tributes to the memory of Colm as a person and a member of An Garda Síochána. Our thoughts today, and always, are with Colm’s family, friends and colleagues."