Local priest urges more resources for force after garda killing

Fr Michael Cusack says ‘staffing levels need to be upped’ and financial commitment made

The Catholic priest who concelebrated the funeral Mass of murdered Det Garda Adrian Donohoe almost three years ago has spoken out about the need for more policing resources in the Border area following the murder last weekend of Garda Tony Golden.

Fr Michael Cusack said while no amount of manpower or resourcing would ease the pain of Garda Golden’s widow Nicola – and their three young children Lucy, Alex and Andrew – the matter still needed to be addressed.

"The staffing levels need to be upped and the commitment financially needs to be upped," he said after a prayer service remembering Garda Golden in Dundalk. "One life gone is one life too many. The sorrow visited on the Golden family isn't one that can be wiped away by any financial move."


He said



was fortunate to have a Garda station but a small group of gardaí policing the Border often found themselves working alone and he questioned if that was appropriate.

Church of Ireland chaplain to the Garda Archdeacon David Pierpoint said he knew Garda Golden’s wife Nicola and said the family was struggling to come to terms with its loss.

The State funeral of Garda Golden will take place tomorrow in the Co Louth village of Blackrock, where he lived with his wife and children.

The remains of the dead man, who was shot dead near Omeath on Sunday evening, were brought to his home under Garda escort yesterday and will be reposing at the house today. His coffin was draped in a Tricolour during the journey.

Garda Golden’s funeral Mass is due to take place from noon Thursday at St Oliver Plunkett Church followed by burial at St Paul’s, Heynestown.

The chief celebrant for the Mass will be Fr Pádraig Keenan, parish priest of Haggardstown, Blackrock. The arrangements were confirmed by the Catholic Communications Office which described Garda Golden, formerly of Farranoo, Ballina, Co Mayo, as the “beloved husband of Nicola (née O’Sullivan) and adored dad of Lucy, Alex and Andrew”.

The notice continued: "Dedicated member of An Garda Síochána. He will be forever missed by his heartbroken wife, daughters, son, parents Breege and David, brothers David, Kenneth, Patrick and Seán, sister Mary, parents-in-law Tony and Iris, sisters-in-law Majella, Laura, Aisling and Tara, brother-in-law Jonathan, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, relatives, friends and colleagues in An Garda Síochána."


Outdoor screens are being put in place for the funeral service. The Catholic Communications Office has said the 300 seats inside the church were “fully reserved for family, loved ones and dignitaries only”.

Garda Golden was shot dead on Sunday evening while taking mother-of-two Siobhán Phillips (22) to her home in the Mullach Álainn estate near Omeath. She was collecting personal items as she was fleeing her partner who was beating her.

However, when she went into the house with Garda Golden, her partner and father of her two young children Adrian Crevan Mackin shot her in the head and body with a Glock 9mm handgun.

He then fatally wounded Garda Golden before turning the gun on himself. Ms Phillips survived but is critically ill in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times