Slain Detective Garda Colm Horkan was a “gentleman” who died “protecting his community” when he was shot dead just before midnight on Wednesday, the Garda Representative Association says.
GRA president, Jim Mulligan said: “On behalf of the GRA, I extend our deepest sympathy to the family of our colleague Detective Garda Colm Horkan, fatally shot in the line of duty in Castlerea, Co Roscommon overnight.”
He said Det Gda Horkan, based in Ballagharderreen, joined the force in 1995 and was a respected and experienced detective.
“Colm was a hugely popular figure among colleagues and in GAA circles,” said Mr Mulligan.
“He was a member of Charlestown GAA and played underage football for his native county. He was always regarded as a go-to man in Charlestown GAA. Nothing was too big or too small a request for him.”
He added: “Colm was a gentleman known for his kindness and commitment to helping other people. He died protecting his community and serving his country. Our thoughts are with Colm's family, colleagues and the communities he served at this very distressing and traumatic time."
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) expressed its deepest condolences and described the incident as a “devastating loss” for his family, friends and colleagues.
General Secretary Antoinette Cunningham said the incident has sent shock waves right throughout the force with a deep sense of grief and loss felt: “I would like to extend the condolences of our 2,300 members to the family of our colleague.
"He went to work to protect and serve and in the line of duty has lost his life. This is a stark reminder of the dangers of policing and the risks that members of An Garda Síochána take on the front line. Our colleague is the 89th serving Garda to die since the force was established."
She added: “Our thoughts today are with his family in Roscommon and Mayo and also his colleagues in Roscommon. We are united in grief.”