Header Ads

Breaking News

Charlestown in Co Mayo will come to standstill as hero Garda Colm Horkan laid to rest


The village of Charlestown in Co Mayo will come to a standstill on Sunday as hero garda Colm Horkan is laid to rest.

While only a handful of heartbroken mourners are permitted in the church, hundreds are expected to line the streets to say a final farewell to the detective.

At midday, as his funeral mass begins, colleagues will hold a parade at Garda HQ in Dublin led by Deputy Commissioner John Twomey.

Garda stations across the country – including in Dundalk where slain officer Adrian Donohoe and Tony Golden both served – will follow suit.

Tragic Det Garda Colm Horkan is the 89th member of An Garda Siochana in the history of the organisation to have died while on duty. Nicknamed Bear by those who knew and loved him, Colm was shot dead with his own service weapon in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, on Wednesday night.

Sadness has overwhelmed both towns as the nation mourns the death of the brave officer. Colm was much loved both in his home of Charlestown and in Ballaghdereen in Co Roscommon where he served as a garda for 13 years.



The funeral cortege of Detective Garda Colm Horkan going through his home town Charlestown in Co Mayo

His close friend Stephen Healy, who grew up just a couple of doors down from him in Charlestown, spoke of the shock of hearing his childhood pal had been killed. He told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “I got the call at two o’clock in the morning from the chairman of the [GAA] club who is actually a first cousin of Colm.

“I didn’t answer the call because I thought it might have been a wrong number.

“But then two minutes later his brother called me… I said when two members of the same family are ringing me something isn’t right.”

The pair grew up playing GAA together for Charlestown Sarsfield and formed a close bond on the pitch.


Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Stephen recalled: “We would have started out together in our football journey at the age of 10 and would have soldiered for the next 30 years and had lots of successes and shared great times.

“We developed a bond, friendship and camaraderie and were good friends right up until the day he died.

Stephen described Garda Horkan as a “great friend and decent man” who was loyal and hard-working and full of dignity, adding: “If you had Colm at your back you had a good man in your camp.



Tragic Detective Garda Colm Horkan

“There wouldn’t be a house in the town that didn’t know him. He touched a lot of lives down here.”

Stephen said he was “the rock” of the Horkan family and the “glue” that held the clan together.

And he revealed: “The casket was brought into the house and the reality dawned when you saw him there, he wasn’t coming back.

“When his body was brought up from the funeral home, I’d say every man woman and child in the town and surrounding areas came in and it was a very poignant but fitting tribute for a diamond of a man.”


Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Those emotional scenes carried through yesterday with crowds lining the streets as Colm began his final journey after following the wake overnight at his family home.

A surreal silence hung over the town for the removal from the house on Airport Road to the funeral home adjoining St. James’ Church, run by the Horkan family.

After the cortege arrived, hundreds of people, many of whom had travelled long distances, gathered to offer their condolences to the shattered family – his father Martin (Marty), sister, Deirdre, brothers Aiden, Brendan, Dermot and Padraig and other close relatives. Among those paying emotional tributes was Garda Damien Hennigan from Ballyshannon who wrote: “Rest in peace fellow blue brother. 



Detective Garda Colm Horkan

“Taken while serving the community you loved to protect. Rest in peace brother blue.”

Niall Dawson of the Prison Officers’ Association, Arbour Hill, in Dublin, echoed that touching sentiment with a message of his own.

He said: “I have heard some beautiful stories over the last few days about Colm and how much of a gentleman he was from staff at Castlerea Prison and beyond.

“Our blue uniforms meet and mingle over the generations. Garda and Prison families are very special, our work is often difficult at times and unrecognised.

“Every law-abiding citizen feels this huge loss. May Colm Rest In Peace.”

Colm’s twin sister, Collette, died from cancer in the United States and is buried in the same plot in Charlestown cemetery – close to the church – where he will be laid to rest today.



Gardai at the scene of the fatal shooting of Det. Garda Colm Horkan

One relative wrote on Twitter: “I’m proud to be from Charlestown. I remember playing pool in Horkan’s pub and eating Taytos and drinking Cidona with Colm and Colette.

“What a treat back in the day. Incredibly sad.”

Mayo GAA have asked supporters to fly flags at midday tomorrow.

They posted on Facebook: “As a mark of respect to Detective Garda Colm Horkan and to support his family… we are asking our clubs and supporters to fly their club or county colours tomorrow at 12pm. #ColoursforColm #RIPColm.”


Video Loading

Video Unavailable

The “men and women in blue” are being urged, due to Covid-19 restrictions, to assemble at noon at their various stations.

Pew spaces will be limited to close relatives, and dignitaries who are expected to include President Michael D. Higgins.



Source link

No comments