Memorial plaques for ‘hero’ Det Garda Horkan unveiled

Garda was shot dead while on duty in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, a year ago

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, Martin Horkan and Minister of State James Browne at a memorial ceremony in Castlerea marking the first anniversary of the death of Det Garda Colm Horkan. Photograph: Conor McKeown

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, Martin Horkan and Minister of State James Browne at a memorial ceremony in Castlerea marking the first anniversary of the death of Det Garda Colm Horkan. Photograph: Conor McKeown

 

Two memorial plaques in memory of Detective Garda Colm Horkan have been unveiled in Co Roscommon.

Det Garda Horkan (49) was shot dead while on duty in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, on June 17th, 2020.

His father, Martin Horkan, unveiled a memorial plaque at the scene of his fatal shooting on the main street in Castlerea. His brothers Dermot, Brendan, Aidan and Pádraic and his sister Deirdre were in attendance.

At Castlerea Garda station, a second plaque in memory of Det Horkan was unveiled by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. It was also erected in memory of two Castlerea gardaí, Det Garda John Morley and Garda Henry Byrne, who were killed while responding to a bank robbery nearby on July 7th, 1980.

Speaking at the commemoration event, the commissioner described Det Garda Horkan as a “hero”.

“Colm Horkan died trying to make this country a better place and with his last act he defied fear and epitomised the bravery members of An Garda Síochána display on a daily basis,” he said.

“In a life that was cut short, he had already made a significant impact on the lives of so many people. That is why his absence has been so strongly felt over the past year and will continue to be felt by those who knew and loved him for many years.”

Det Garda Horkan had worked as a garda for almost 24 years. He would have turned 50 in December.

Detective Garda Colm Horkan: ‘died trying to make this country a better place’.
Detective Garda Colm Horkan: ‘died trying to make this country a better place’.

Assistant Commissioner Barry O’Brien described the “courage, integrity, diligence and an overriding sense of duty” of the three fallen gardaí.

Minister of State at the Department of Justice James Browne said Det Garda Horkan’s service had been “exemplary”.

His death was “a painful reminder” of the personal risk that Garda members take while on duty.

A member of his local GAA club, Det Garda Horkan had “embodied that grassroots ethos shared by both the GAA and the gardaí, commitment to family, community and country,” Mr Browne said.