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'A debt we can never fully repay': Deceased gardaí remembered at memorial ceremony

Tributes were paid to 89 gardaí who died in the line of duty.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

GARDAÍ WHO DIED in the line of duty were remembered today at a ceremony to mark Garda Memorial Day.

The Garda Commissioner, Minister for Justice, Garda chaplains and representatives from the Garda staff association paid tributes to 89 gardaí who passed away while in service.

Father Joe Kennedy and Archdeacon David Pierpoint led a liturgical ceremony. A prayer of the faithful was offered in memory of the 89 gardaí, who were named in the prayer.

A wreath was laid at the Garda Síochána Memorial Garden in Dublin Castle.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys said it was “one of the most important days of the year, the day when we remember and recognise the sacrifice of the 89 fallen Gardaí who have lost their lives in the line of duty”.

“Each and every day, it is the women and men of An Garda Síochána who protect us and keep us safe. In times of crisis, whether as individuals or as a society, they work to shield us all from harm,” Humphreys said.

The minister commended the work of gardaí during the pandemic, saying that members “all over the country have undertaken essential work to stop the spread of the virus and, most importantly, to protect the most vulnerable among us”.

“I think we also need to acknowledge the sacrifices made by the families of Gardaí. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to love and worry for someone whose job exposes them to danger, or to see the stress and pain that situations may bring,” she said.

“I want to thank you, the families, for supporting your daughters and sons, husbands, wives, mothers and fathers as they go about their vital work on our behalf.”

I know that many of us are thinking in particular today of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, who tragically lost his life in the service of the State in June last year.

“I want to express my sincere and deepest condolences to his father Marty and all his family, friends, his community and his Garda family – his heartbroken colleagues.  I know all those who loved Colm still grieve his passing,” Humphreys said.

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“Colm Horkan served his country selflessly for 24 years. Throughout his time as a proud member of An Garda Síochána he remained committed to family, to community and to country.”

The minister also named Detective Garda Jerry McCabe, Detective Garda Adrian Donohue, and Garda Ciarán Jones.

These are but a few of the names of the 89 Gardaí on the Roll of Honour, whose lives ended far too soon. Each of these men died serving the State and the people of Ireland.  And for each of those lost lives, I think especially of their families and colleagues who will forever mourn them.  That is a debt that we can never fully repay but it is one that we must always remember.”

“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha uaisle,” she said.

Attendance at the physical ceremony was limited due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Relatives of deceased gardaí and other members of the public were able to view the event through a livestream.

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