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Garda Commissioner names officer who was shot last night as Detective Garda Colm Horkan

The Garda member was shot last night while on duty in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.

Image: An Garda Síochána

GARDA COMMISSIONER DREW Harris has named the officer who was shot and killed last night as Detective Garda Colm Horkan.

The garda died while on duty following an incident in Castlerea which happened shortly before midnight. It is believed that his official firearm was taken from him during the incident and he was shot with it. 

One man has been arrested in connection with the investigation and is currently being detained in Castlerea Garda Station. 

In a statement this morning, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: “I am deeply saddened by the death of my colleague Detective Garda Colm Horkan.

My thoughts, and the thoughts of all personnel in An Garda Síochána, are with the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Garda Colm Horkan at Castlerea Garda Station and the Detective Unit he served in.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, and Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins have led tributes to Detective Garda Horkan.

“Every day our Gardaí put themselves on the frontline of crime prevention, on behalf of all of us. This requires regular acts of bravery and courage,” Varadkar said.

Detective Garda Horkan has been described as an “experienced detective greatly respected by colleagues”, and the incident has been described “truly shocking”, and “a huge blow to the force”.

The Detective Garda served in An Garda Síochána for 24 years; the Garda Commissioner said that he is the 89th member of An Garda Síochána killed in the line of duty.

This is the third incident in recent years where a garda was killed while on duty: Garda Adrian Donohoe was killed on 25 January 2013, and Garda Tony Golden was killed on 11 October 2015.

“Today is a terrible reminder of the significant sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, that gardaí make to keep people safe,” Commissioner Harris said.

I want to thank the local community in Castlerea and the country as a whole for the support they have shown to An Garda Síochána and individual gardaí even in the short time since the incident.

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Gardaí are investigating the fatal shooting, and are appealing for those with information, or who witnessed this incident, to contact Castlerea Garda Station at 094 962 1635.

- with reporting from Christine Bohan

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