Former Mayo footballer John Casey has told of his great admiration for family friend Colm Horkan.
The two families were neighbours in Charlestown and both were steeped in the community and the GAA, Mr Casey told the News at One.
“He was a great guard, a great Mayo man, he had no enemy in the town. He got on with everyone, he was a role model in his professional and personal life.”
People in the area were dumbfounded and shocked at the death of Detective Horkan, he said.
“This time yesterday Colm was getting ready to go to work, but he didn’t come home.”
“It is going to take a long time to get over this. It is upsetting for the community.”
Mr Casey said Charlestown was a small town where “everybody knows everybody.” He recalled that his friend had won a minor medal with Mayo in 1988, an Under-21 medal in 1991 and an intermediate medal in 1993.
“He was respected by everyone, he kept himself really well.”
Mr Casey said that the garda detective was the kind of person, on and off the pitch, that “you would bring into the trenches with you. You knew he wouldn’t see you stuck.”
Colm Horkan had loved his job, but his passion was football. “He was a mad Liverpool fan and a Mayo fanatic. You would respect any advice that Colm would offer you.
“He was a role model guard. What you saw was what you got with him, ultimately it cost him his life.”
Retired garda sergeant John Hynes, who investigated the Roscommon House of Horrors abuse case, has told of his devastation at the death of his close friend and former colleague Garda detective Colm Horkan.
“He was part of our family. Our own children are heartbroken,” he told RTÉ’s Liveline. The detective had been like an uncle to his children who had “the highest love and respect” for him.
“From the get-go Colm was the most reliable guard you could get.” Detective Horkan had moved to Castlerea in 1999 having spent his first four years in the force in Finglas.
“Really and truly he was my right-hand man, my best friend.”
“He was the epitome of what it means to be a guard in contemporary society. He had a sense of calm about him when confronting a dangerous situation. He would talk a person down. He had that quality.”