Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Alison O’Riordan

A 44-year-old man accused of murdering Detective Garda Colm Horkan in a shooting in Roscommon will go on trial at the Central Criminal Court in June next year.

Stephen Silver of Aughaward, Foxford, Co Mayo is charged with the murder of a member of An Garda Siochana, namely Garda Horkan, acting in the course of his duty knowing that or being reckless as to whether he was a member of An Garda Siochana acting in the course of his duty at Main Street, Castlerea, Co Roscommon on June 17, 2020.

The offence is contrary to common law and provided for by Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1964 and Section 3(1) (A) Section 3(2) and Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1990.

Det Garda Horkan (49), who was based in Castlerea Garda station, died after he was shot while responding to an incident in the Co Roscommon town last year.

Five weeks

Sean Gillane SC, defending Mr Silver, told Mr Justice Michael White today that the trial will take five weeks and said he hoped to be able to “narrow issues” with prosecuting counsel Michael Delaney SC in advance of the case. Mr Silver is currently in custody at the Central Mental Hospital in Dundrum, said Mr Gillane.

The defence counsel said there was a “very significant background of psychiatric treatment” and he asked Mr Justice White to certify a second senior counsel and a research documentary junior in the case.

Mr Delaney told the court that it was a “substantial case”.

The judge said he would make an order for two senior counsel and one research documentary junior on behalf of the defence in the case. He also fixed a trial date for June 15, 2022.

On February 19 last, Mr Silver was sent forward for the trial to the Central Criminal Court after being presented with the book of evidence. Free legal aid was granted at a previous court sitting.

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