President to hold memorial service for murdered garda as funeral takes place


The President will hold a memorial service for a murdered Garda to coincide with a state funeral in his hometown.

Detective Garda Colm Horkan, 49, was shot dead on Wednesday night in the town of Castlerea in Co Roscommon.

The Gardaí are making arrangements to ensure the officer is afforded formal state honours within the current coronavirus limitations on the size of public gatherings.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Detective Garda Colm Horkan (Garda/PA)</figcaption>
Detective Garda Colm Horkan (Garda/PA)

As part of the plans, Garda colleagues across the country will observe one minute’s silence at 12 noon as the service get underway at St James’ church in Mr Horkan’s home town of Charlestown, Co Mayo.

On Saturday, it was announced that President Michael D Higgins will lead a memorial service on the grounds of his residence at Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

The national flag will be flown at half-mast at the Áras on Sunday as a mark of respect and the President will observe one minute’s silence at the Peace Bell in the grounds.

Sergeant Sinead Riley, Sergeant-in-Charge at Áras an Uachtaráin, will ring the Peace Bell at the start and end of the memorial ceremony.

Stephen Silver, 43, from Aughaward, Foxford in Co Mayo was remanded in custody on Friday night charged with the garda’s murder.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Stephen Silver arrives at Castlerea District Court on Friday night (Michael McCormack/PA)</figcaption>
Stephen Silver arrives at Castlerea District Court on Friday night (Michael McCormack/PA)

Also on Friday, hundreds of people gathered in Mayo and Roscommon to pay their respects to Mr Horkan.

There were emotional scenes in Ballaghaderreen in Roscommon as the hearse carrying the remains of Mr Horkan made its way through the town towards his home in Charlestown.

The cortege was flanked by gardai on motorcycles, while people lined the streets where Mr Horkan had worked for several years.

Floral tributes were left outside Ballaghaderreen garda station.

There were similar scenes late on Friday night in Charlestown as hundreds of people lines the streets as the hearse passed by.

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