On the 21st of June, the State funeral for Detective Garda Colm Horkan was held in Charlestown, Co. Mayo.
Colm Horkan was the 89th member of the Garda Síochána to be killed on duty since its establishment in 1920. The officer was killed with his own pistol on the 17th of June. Garda sources stated that 43 year old Stephen Silver from Castelrea managed to take control of the officer’s weapon during a scuffle and shot him fatally several times. Silver has been charged with his murder.
Colm Horkan was 49 years old and had been serving as a Garda for the past 24 years. Up until recently, he had been based in Ballaghaderreen Garda station. When he was promoted to detective, he was moved to Castlerea. He also served as a firefighter in Charlestown before his death.
Horkan was an avid GAA fan – a photo was shared of him sporting the GAA kit of his local club, Charlestown. As the number of mourners allowed at his funeral was limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, many of his friends and neighbours gathered to watch the service at the local GAA ground. He also served as a reader in his local church, St James’ Church in Charlestown, the same church in which his funeral was held. He was described by parish priest Tommy Johnson as “one of nature’s gentlemen” in his homily.
President Michael D Higgins was unable to attend the funeral service, but expressed his condolences by sounding the Peace Bell at Áras an Uachtarán on the day of the service.
Horkan had no partner or children of his own, but he is remembered by his siblings and by his community, by whom he was cherished deeply. Community members described him as a “quiet” man who was “dearly loved” by friends, neighbours and family.