Garda Colm Horkan murder suspect unfit to appear in court

Garda Colm Horkan murder suspect unfit to appear in court
Stephen Silver at Castlerea District Court last Friday night where he was charged with the murder of Det. Garda Colm Horkan. Picture: Colin Keegan

A 43-year old man charged with the murder of Detective Garda Colm Horkan is being detained at the Central Mental Hospital and was deemed unfit to attend court this morning.

Stephen Silver of Aughaward, Foxford, Co Mayo, was due to appear before Harristown District Court in Roscommon by video link but Judge Alan Mitchell was told he was unwell and unable to appear.

Defence solicitor Gearoid Geraghty said he was unaware whether his client was being detained in hospital or at the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, but after a short adjournment, it was established that Silver was in the Central Mental Hospital.

Silver was remanded in custody when he appeared before a special sitting of Castlerea District Court on Friday night last week. He was charged with the murder of Det. Garda Horkan in Castlerea two nights earlier on June 17.

Judge Mitchell was told at Harristown District Court this morning that Silver was transferred from Castlerea Prison to the Midlands Prison on Saturday and was taken to the Central Mental Hospital on Tuesday.

Mr Geraghty said he was "in limbo" and did not know why his client was being detained in the Central Mental Hospital and requested that a medical report be prepared.

He also asked Judge Mitchell that a consultant forensic psychiatrist be deployed to establish his client’s fitness to plead.

Judge Mitchell, after receiving correspondence from the Central Mental Hospital and the Midlands Prison during the hearing, said it was clear that the defendant was unwell and unable to attend court.

He remanded Silver in custody for two weeks to appear before Harristown District Court by video link on July 10, and that a medical report be prepared.

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