Gardaí pay tribute to Detective Colm Horkan one year on from his death

Gardaí pay tribute to Detective Colm Horkan one year on from his death

One year to the day that Detective Garda Colm Horkan was killed in the line of duty in Castlerea Co Roscommon a simple cross and floral tribute mark the spot of his tragic killing as a lady pays her respects. Picture: Paul Mealey

Gardaí have commemorated slain Detective Garda Colm Horkan to mark the first anniversary of his death.

A plaque has been unveiled for Mr Horkan, aged 49 at the time of his death, on the main street of Castlerea, Roscommon, where he was shot dead on June 17 while responding to an incident.

Speaking at the tribute, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: "Colm was the epitome of what all of us in An Garda Síochána should aspire to be — professional, hard-working, supportive, community-focused, and brave." 

Colm will never be forgotten.

"Our thoughts today, and always, are with Colm’s family, friends and colleagues," he added.

The late Detective Garda Colm Horkan. File Picture
The late Detective Garda Colm Horkan. File Picture

Mr Horkan had been a member of An Garda Síochána for 24 years. 

One of seven children, Colm Horkan was known and admired in both Roscommon, where he spent much of his career, and Mayo, where he grew up.

'One of a kind'

In a statement, Mr Horkan's family said he "would leave a lasting impression in any room or place."

"He attended every party and function that was being held, always dressed impeccably, and had a word for everyone in a quiet unassuming way," the family said. 

"For the many people who knew Colm and those of you who didn’t, his infectious smile would brighten up any occasion."

The family said Colm loved his job and wore the uniform with great pride while serving the community.

He was kind, thoughtful, and a selflessly loyal gentleman to all he encountered both on a personal and professional level.

They said Colm was "one of a kind," and that his life "was ended before his time."

"Sadly, we never got the opportunity to say goodbye and to tell him how much we dearly loved him. 

"Life will never be the same without Colm."

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said today would be "a very sad and difficult day for Colm’s family and friends, his colleagues, the local community, and An Garda Síochána."

"Colm was the epitome of what all of us in An Garda Síochána should aspire to be – professional, hard-working, supportive, community-focused, and brave.

"Colm will never be forgotten."

Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence and Former Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said Detective Horkan would be in his thoughts today. 

"Family, loved one and colleagues in An Garda Síochána in our thoughts and on our minds today on the first anniversary of the tragic death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan in Castlerea," Mr Flanagan said.

“May he rest in everlasting peace.” 

General Secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) Antoinette Cunningham also paid tribute.

Colm Horkan had served as a member of An Garda Síochána for 24 years. File Picture
Colm Horkan had served as a member of An Garda Síochána for 24 years. File Picture

"Thinking of the Horkan family on this 1st anniversary of Det Garda Colm Horkan killed in the line of duty on this night last year as he went to assist his ⁦garda ⁦AGSI colleagues.

"thoughts and prayers are with you all."

A passionate sports fan, Colm played Under-21 football for Mayo from 1989 - 1990.

He was also part of the Charlestown team which won Mayo and Connacht senior club titles in 2001. He later formed part of the club’s management team during another senior title-winning year in 2009.

Mr Horkan was also heavily involved in charity work throughout his life, helping to raise funds for local GAA clubs, mental health charities and the Mater Foundation.

Killed in the line of duty

Det Gda Horkan was shot dead on June 17 last year while responding to an incident on the main street of Castlerea, Roscommon.

He had transferred to Castlerea from Ballaghaderreen only a few weeks before his death.

A 44-year-old man accused of murdering Colm Horkan in a shooting in Roscommon last June will go on trial at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin in June next year.

Colm Horkan was the 89th and most recent member of An Garda Síochána killed in the line of duty since the establishment of the force in 1922.

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