Murdered man Tony Golden’s ‘great sacrifice will not be forgotten’

President Michael D Higgins has spoken of his shock at the murder of Garda Tony Golden and said the country felt similarly dismayed.

“My sympathy goes out to his family, his three young children, and his extended family and friends, and of course his colleagues in the gardaí,” he said. “The entire community, different communities, are just appalled that life is lost like this.”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny also expressed his sorrow at the murder and said Garda Golden’s death brought into focus the dangers faced by members of the force.

“It’s so sad to have something like this happen. I’ve spoken to Supt Doherty in Ballina who’s been down to visit the parents of Tony Golden.

“What can I say? To Nicola and her three young children this is a terrible tragedy. Obviously a full report will be made available by the commissioner and the minister for justice but I think it puts into context the work that the members of the Garda Síochána do every day all over the country.”

Politicians from all parties joined in expressing their shock and sadness at the events in Omeath on Sunday.

Tánaiste Joan Burton said her thoughts were with the victims and their families.

“In particular I want to express remorse for the death of Garda Anthony Golden while carrying out his work, This has been a tragic and dark weekend,” she said.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said Garda Golden’s death would be mourned by the entire nation. “While no words at this time can be expected to console his wife and children, his family, his colleagues and all who loved him, they know that he gave his life in the best traditions of An Garda Síochána protecting the community he was so proud to serve.”

Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin said Garda Golden’s death had numbed the nation. “We must stand behind those who stand up for us and display enormous courage, sacrifice, and service,” he said.

The Renua leader Lucinda Creighton said Garda Golden’s death illustrated the need for greater co-operation between the Gardaí and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

“Renua Ireland is gravely concerned by Garda claims that a corridor of lawlessness is evolving amongst the border,” she said. “The belief amongst gardaí and the community is that those who are connected to the IRA and to Sinn Féin can commit crimes with apparent impunity on both sides of the border that straddles this zone of uncertainty.”

Sinn Féin leader and TD for Louth, Gerry Adams, also expressed his shock. “My thoughts and sympathies are with the famlies of those who have died and have been injured,” he said.

Chairman of the Oireachtas Good Friday Committee, Frank Feighan, said the committee acknowledged the great risks gardaí took for their communities. “Garda Golden’s great sacrifice will not be forgotten and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.”

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