Family of Siobhán Phillips praise actions of Garda Tony Golden

Family of critically ill Siobhán Phillips ‘forever in debt’ of murdered father of three

The family of Siobhán Phillips, who was being assisted by Tony Golden at the time of the incident in which he was killed, has praised the

garda for “laying down his life” for them.

This afternoon up to 4,000 members of the 12,800-strong Garda force are expected to attend their killed colleague’s funeral, with an escort to be drawn from the estimated 2,000 expected to attend in uniform.

Former minister for justice Dermot Ahern yesterday said his community in Co Louth was "shattered" by the killing there of Garda Golden.


He said the whole community had felt the shock and sadness at Garda Golden’s killing near Omeath village last Sunday.

“I’m a member of this community, born and bred, and we’re absolutely shattered,” he said. “Tony’s wife is a local here; I know her and I know her parents very well. I knew Tony. And the whole place is just completely shattered with what’s happened.”

Ms Phillips (22), who was shot in the head and body in the same attack that claimed Garda Golden's life, remains critically ill in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.

Her parents, Seán and Norma Phillips, said their daughter had been saved by the killed garda's bravery.

Mr Phillips, who was outside the house when killer Adrian Crevan Mackin (24) fired the fatal shots, also suggested Garda Golden (36) had saved his life too.


“We would like to pay tribute to and express our condolences to the family and colleagues of Garda

Anthony Golden

, ” they said. “Garda Golden, in the service and protection of others, laid down his life for my daughter Siobhán, myself and my family.

“There are no words to express our gratitude for his bravery, we are forever in his debt. Our beautiful daughter Siobhán, a loving mother, sister and friend, is fighting for her life.

Immeasurable grief

“For now, we pray for Siobhán’s recovery and for the family of Garda Golden as they face their immeasurable grief.

“We ask for privacy for our family and Siobhán’s small children at this time.”

Garda Golden was shot dead on Sunday evening after he brought Ms Phillips, a mother of two, to her home in the Mullach Álainn estate near Omeath. She was there to collect personal items because she was fleeing her partner, Mackin. who was beating her.

She had gone there with her father and Garda Golden, who had on Saturday taken a formal statement of complaint about Mackin’s violence from Ms Phillips.

Garda Golden instructed Mr Phillips to remain outside the house while he escorted Ms Phillips inside. Once inside, her partner and the father of her two young children, Mackin, shot Ms Phillips in the head and body with a Glock 9mm handgun.

He then shot and killed Garda Golden as he surged towards Ms Phillips to protect her. Mackin finally turned the gun on himself. He had been charged with an organisation styling itself the IRA in January but was freed in bail by the Special Criminal Court pending trial.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times