Garda Tony Golden will be ‘mourned by entire nation’

Fitzgerald offers condolences after garda shot in Louth by dissident republican

Carl O’Brien reports from Omeath Co. Louth on the killing of Garda Tony Golden by Adrian Crevan Mackin. Mackin’s partner remains in a critical condition at Beaumont Hospital. Video: Bryan O'Brien

 

A Garda member shot dead in Co Louth will be “mourned by the entire nation”, the Minister for Justice has said.

Garda Tony Golden was shot dead at a residence in Omeath shortly after 6.30pm yesterday. He was assisting a woman who had told gardaí she feared her partner was going to kill her and himself.

The gardaí escorted her to the property to collect her personal items. When the woman entered the home, the man shot her.

The Garda followed the woman into the bedroom, where he was fatally shot with a handgun.

The woman’s partner, dissident republican Adrian Crevan Mackin, then took his own life.

The Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said she was “appalled” at the loss of life of a Garda member.

“While no words at this time can be expected to console his wife and children, his family, his colleagues and all who loved him, they know that he gave his life in the best traditions of An Garda Síochána protecting the community he was so proud to serve.”

“I know our communities will stand with An Garda Síochána at this most difficult time for them,” Ms Fitzgerald said.

‘Deeply saddened’

The Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’ Sullivan said she had been “deeply saddened” to hear of Garda Golden’s death.

She said his death “highlights the unique nature of the job carried out by the men and women of An Garda Síochána, and the dangers they face every day”.

“At this time my thoughts and prayers and those of the entire Garda service are with his family, friends and colleagues,”she added.

President of the Garda Representative Association, Dermot O’Brien said such “dreadful, dreadful news is the deepest fear of every police family”.

“At this time of distress, the Garda family will be doing everything possible to support the late Garda’s relatives and loved ones, friends and colleagues,” he said.

President Michael D Higgins contacted the Garda Commissioner to express his sympathies on the “terrible loss of a young member of the force, while doing his duty on behalf of the State and all of society”.

“This most serious and tragic incident has not only led to the death of a member of An Garda Siochána, while on duty, but tragically has also involved the death of one and the serious injury of another person,” Mr Higgins said.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the shooting dead of a Garda in the line of duty had “numbed the community in the Cooley peninsula” and members of the force.

Mr Martin recalled the death of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe who died in a shooting in Louth in January 2013:

“It is extremely rare that members of An Garda Síochána have died in the line of duty and it is important that we take time to reflect on this awful incident and remind ourselves that the security and stability of our society is upheld by the men and women of An Garda Síochána who are pledged to defend it,” Mr Martin said.

Sympathies

Sinn Féin leader and local TD Gerry Adams expressed his shock and said his thoughts and sympathies were with the families of those who had died.

Minister of State and Labour TD for Louth Ged Nash expressed his shock at the “appalling loss of life” following yesterday’s incident.

“That a Garda could report to work today and then never make it home is a sobering reminder of the fact that these men and women risk their very lives protecting all of us and keeping the peace across our country,” he said.

The PSNI offered its assistance and support in a tweet from its official Twitter account.

It said: “Our thoughts are with our Garda colleagues following the tragic events in Omeath this evening.

“PSNI will lend any assistance or support required.”