The state funeral of Detective Garda Colm Horkan has heard that he was “a man who was full of the goodness of life,” who embodied “all of the values you would associate with a decent human being.”
Funeral mass for Detective Garda Horkan, who was shot dead in Castlerea on Wednesday night, was held in St James’ Church in his hometown of Charlestown today. Representatives of An Garda Siochána and Charlestown Sarsfields GAA Club, along with members of the local community, lined the streets of the town as his coffin was carried from the family home in Ballyglass to the church.
The government was represented at the state funeral by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris was also in attendance. Social distancing guidelines meant only close family members and friends were allowed into the church but crowds congregated outside the church, along the streets of the town and at the nearby Fr O’Hara Park, where big screens were erected to show funeral mass.
Fr Tommy Johnson, PP of Charlestown and the chief celebrant of the mass, said in his homily that “the gunshots that rang out in Castlerea on Wednesday night shocked not just the town but the whole country.”
“Colm Horkan was a good man. He was one of nature’s gentlemen,” said Fr Johnson. “He was a man who was deeply loved and respected in the community. He loved his life as a Garda and gave it his full commitment.”
Commissioner Drew Harris said that Detective Garda Horkan “epitomised what all of us members of An Garda Siochána should strive to be.”
“He was characterised by hard work and diligence. We have been overwhelmed by the support of communities in Mayo, Roscommon and all around Ireland.
“The manner of his death should not eclipse Colm’s life. Colm’s name will live on and he will be remembered in An Garda Siochána in the years ahead. I trust that those of us who continue to serve can continue Colm’s legacy,” continued Commissioner Harris.
In a moving address, Detective Garda Horkan’s brother Brendan said the family wished to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has offered their support in recent days.
“It’s a sad day for the family and the town as we lay our brother to rest long before his time,” said Brendan Horkan.
“Colm was a gem, a son and brother like no other. He touched the lives of so many and carried himself with dignity.”
Detective Garda Horkan was laid to rest in the adjoining St James’ cemetery.