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Taoiseach and Drew Harris say Colm Horkan was 'everything a garda should aspire to be'

Garda Horkan was shot dead this day a year ago when he intervened in an incident unfolding in Castlerea.

Detective Garda Colm Horkan.
Detective Garda Colm Horkan.
Image: Garda Press Office

THE FAMILY OF Detective Garda Colm Horkan have said “life will never be the same” as they remembered him as a “kind, thoughtful and a selflessly loyal gentleman” on the first anniversary of his death.

In a statement, they said the family and friends of Horkan lost a “dear friend” last year when he was “murdered in the most brutal way that anyone can imagine”.

Colm Horkan, aged 49, was shot dead in the town of Castlerea in Co Roscommon when he intervened in an incident unfolding close to the town’s Garda station.

The family described him as a “proud, popular, respected member of An Garda Síochána who loved his job and wore the uniform with great pride while serving the community for over 25 years”.

They added that his “infectious smile would brighten up any occasion and leave a lasting impression in any room or place”.

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

Colm was one of a kind and on that night of the 17th into the morning of the 18th of June, Colm’s life was ended long before his time and 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.”

They said that one year on they continue to carry the “deep grief” of the Garda’s loss but that the “depth and sincerity” of the support they have received from so many people gave them great comfort.

The Garda Commissioner marked the anniversary by paying tribute to Horkan for his “bravery and selflessness”.

Drew Harris said Horkan, who died while protecting the community he served, was the epitome of what every Garda should aspire to be.

The Taoiseach echoed the Garda Commissioner’s words: “My thoughts go to the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Garda Colm Horkan today, who died in the line of duty one year ago.

In the words of the Garda Commissioner, Colm was everything a garda should aspire to be – professional, community-focused, supportive and brave.

Harris described the anniversary as “a very sad and difficult day for Colm’s family and friends, his colleagues, the local community, and An Garda Síochána”.

“But as well as sadness there is great pride,” the commissioner said.

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“Great pride in Colm as a person who was loved and respected by so many people.

“Great pride in Colm’s community spirit and desire to help and support others. Great pride in Colm’s 24 years of dedicated service to An Garda Síochána and the State.

Great pride in Colm’s bravery and selflessness to protect the lives of the people he served.

“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.”

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