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Dublin: 7 °C Monday 24 February, 2020

'This terrible incident is a stark reminder of the dangerous nature of domestic abuse'

Women’s Aid says the killing of Garda Tony Golden shows the danger to frontline responders of domestic violence.

The scene at the Mullach Alainn Estate where Garda Tony Golden was shot.
The scene at the Mullach Alainn Estate where Garda Tony Golden was shot.
Image: Eamonn Farrell

Updated 2.11pm

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARITIES have paid tribute to the garda who was killed after being called to a domestic dispute in Omeath, Co Louth.

Women’s Aid director Margaret Martin says the tragedy highlights the important role members of An Garda Síochána play in helping women escape from violent partners.

Garda Tony Golden was shot and killed yesterday evening when responding to a domestic dispute at the home of a well-known dissident republican. A woman was also seriously injured in the incident with the shooter killed after he turned the gun on himself.

Women’s Aid have paid tribute to the guard who died in the shooting.

“Women’s Aid would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the wife and young children of Garda Golden, to his family, friends and colleagues in An Garda Síochána. Our thoughts are also with the woman and her children and her family and we hope that she will make a full recovery,” Martin said in a statement this morning.

Women’s Aid says that they received 11,167 calls last year to their helpline last year, an average of 31 a day, and that gardaí form a vital part of their response to domestic violence.

“Women’s Aid also works closely with An Garda Síochána to ensure women and children get the best possible response when they seek help,” says Martin.

“This terrible incident is a stark reminder of the dangerous and sometimes fatal nature of domestic abuse and the tragedy it brings, not only to women and children, but to frontline responders and the community around them too.”

omeath Omeath Garda Station, Co Louth.

SAFE Ireland have also expressed sympathy to the family of garda Golden, saying that his actions are an example of the ‘brave and compassionate’ work gardaí undertake to protect women from domestic violence.

“We know from our work and close relationship with the gardaí every day that their response to domestic violence is critical to women’s safety and wellbeing,” said SAFE Ireland CEO Sharon O’Halloran.

Many Gardaí carry out brave, compassionate work with women in danger as part of their daily jobs. This everyday compassion can too often go unnoticed. We pay tribute to Garda Golden and to all of the gardaí who keep women and children safe as part of their job and duty every day of the week.


Both charities say that their thoughts are with the woman who was seriously injured after being shot last night and that they hope she makes a “full recovery”.

Women’s Aid points out that since they began keeping records in 1996, 209 women have been murdered in Ireland, with 62% of the killings taking place in the women’s own homes.

Of the murders of women that have been resolved through the courts, 55% of the killings were carried out by the woman’s partner or ex-partner.

Read: Investigation underway into fatal shooting of on-duty garda in Louth >

Read: “Tony Golden’s fearlessness and his self-sacrifice led to his loss of life” >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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