Irish Examiner view: Colm Horkan - Society speaks with one voice

Detective Garda Colm Horkan, who was shot dead as he patrolled Castlerea, Co Roscommon, alone last week, was buried yesterday.
Irish Examiner view: Colm Horkan - Society speaks with one voice

Detective Garda Colm Horkan, who was shot dead as he patrolled Castlerea, Co Roscommon, alone last week, was buried yesterday.

His funeral was a dignified, sombre occasion, even if limited by the constraints of Covid-19 and social distancing.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Garda commissioner Drew Harris were present. President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar observed a minute’s silence in tribute as members of the public, many in their homes around the country, stood in silence at noon to show an understanding, emotional and cultural, of the tragedy.

Colm Horkan lost his life, but his random, seemingly unplanned murder was an attack on the values this society holds dear and the sense of community it celebrates every day, even if not as completely as it might wish.

The eulogies offered confirmed that Colm had “all the values you would associate with a good, decent human being”.

“He was kind, considerate, selfless and above all, loyal to the core,” said his brother Brendan at the funeral Mass.

“He was a rock in our family. The man that was the glue that held it all together. He seldom ever made a bad decision and lived his life by the book.”

Almost uniquely, the funeral was shown as it happened by the national broadcaster, underlining in a particularly Irish way how the men and women who protect this society are more appreciated than is always obvious or they may know.

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