An emotional Superintendent Goretti Sheridan of Castlerea Garda Station has thanked the community of Castlerea for standing in support of the local members of An Garda Síochána as they mourned the death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan who was shot dead in Castlerea town on Wednesday night.
Speaking at a community organised prayer service in Castlerea on Thursday evening, Superintendent Sheridan told hundreds of people who had gathered at the town’s Fairgreen, while observing social distancing, that “it means a lot to us here in Castlerea and in the station in Ballaghaderreen”.
As the heavens opened and rain poured down on the streets of Castlerea, Superintendent Sheridan said: “We are devastated at the death of our friend and colleague Colm.”
She thanked local Parish Priest Fr John McManus for attending the scene on Wednesday night when Detective Horkan passed away. “He said a few prayers and that meant the world to us,” said Superintendent Sheridan.
She also thanked Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council Paschal Fitzmaurice for inviting the Gardaí to attend the prayer vigil.
Cllr Fitzmaurice said that the prayer service had been organised to show solidarity with the Horkan family and with the wider Garda community. He noted that he had served for a long time in Castlerea and in Ballaghaderreen and had recently returned to Castlerea as a detective. “This is a tragedy the town will ever forget,” said Cllr Fitzmaurice as he extended the town’s sympathy to the Horkan family.
Parish Priest Fr. John McManus, who led the prayer service, said that the community had gathered in prayer and in memory of Garda Horkan. He added that this was a testing and painful time for the family of Garda Horkan and for all who knew and loved him.
As the bell of St. Patrick’s Church rang through the town a minute’s silence was observed for the Charlestown native and candles were lit in his memory.
Earlier in the evening, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris had gathered at The Hub in Castlerea with past and present member of the force to remember and pray for Garda Horan and his family.
Last night candles were lit in the windows of a number of houses in Castlerea town and Castlerea and Charlestown GAA flags flew outside some homes.