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Gardai lines street in tribute of murdered Irish police detective at his state funeral

The Gardai lined the streets as the coffin of a murdered Irish police detective nicknamed ‘The Bear’ was carried through his hometown at the state funeral.  

Murdered garda Colm Horkan was carried through his hometown at the funeral in Charlestown, Co Mayo, today.

The coffin of the detective garda was draped in the Irish flag, with his hat and gloves laid on the top, as the Gardai lined the streets to pay tribute.  

The coffin of murdered detective garda Colm Horkan was carried through his hometown of Charlestown, Co Mayo, during his state funeral today

The coffin of the detective garda was draped in the Irish flag, with his hat and gloves laid on the top, as he was taken into St James' Church for the funeral

 The coffin of the detective garda was draped in the Irish flag, with his hat and gloves laid on the top, as he was taken into St James’ Church for the funeral

Addressing mourners, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (pictured) said Colm Horkan's Garda service was marked by his 'hard work and diligence'. He said Mr Horkan's 'determination and courage' were shown in the moments before his death on Wednesday night

Addressing mourners, Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (pictured) said Colm Horkan’s Garda service was marked by his ‘hard work and diligence’. He said Mr Horkan’s ‘determination and courage’ were shown in the moments before his death on Wednesday night

Mr Horkan, 49, was shot with his own gun, after it was taken off him, on Wednesday night in Castlerea, Co Roscommon.

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

Among symbols left at the altar to represent his life at the beginning of the funeral service were his garda notebook, a GAA jersey from his home team in Charlestown and a Liverpool FC tie pin.

His brother Dermot explained the significance of each.

With his voice breaking with emotion, he told the congregation: ‘The Liverpool motto ‘you’ll never walk alone’ summed up Colm perfectly – he never let any of his family or friends walk alone.’

Members of his local Charlestown GAA club attended the funeral and walked behind Mr Horkan’s coffin to pay their respects to the dedicated fan.

In his homily, Monsignor Tommy Johnston described the garda as one of nature’s gentlemen. 

Mr Horkan, 49, (pictured) was shot with his own gun, after it was taken off him, on Wednesday night in Castlerea, Co Roscommon

Mr Horkan, 49, (pictured) was shot with his own gun, after it was taken off him, on Wednesday night in Castlerea, Co Roscommon

Gardai lined the streets in tribute of the detective and Garda stations across the country observed a minute's silence as the service began at midday on Sunday

Gardai lined the streets in tribute of the detective and Garda stations across the country observed a minute’s silence as the service began at midday on Sunday

Stephen Silver, 43, from Aughaward, Foxford in Co Mayo, was remanded in custody on Friday night charged with Mr Horkan's murder. Pictured, Gardai gather to pay respects to Mr Horkan at his funeral today

Stephen Silver, 43, from Aughaward, Foxford in Co Mayo, was remanded in custody on Friday night charged with Mr Horkan’s murder. Pictured, Gardai gather to pay respects to Mr Horkan at his funeral today

‘The gunshots that rang out in the early hours of Wednesday morning echoed not just in the town of Castlerea but right across the country, spreading a story of tragedy and sadness and the loss of life of a detective garda,’ he said.

‘Colm Horkan was a good man, one of nature’s gentlemen. That and more, as someone said.’

A minute’s silence was observed inside the church and at Garda stations across the country as the service began at St James’ Church. 

Mr Johnston said: ‘On Friday night, as his body was brought back home, hundreds of people lined the streets from the GAA pitch to his home. As the hearse passed on its way those lining the street joined in a silent walk of welcome for a man who was dearly loved and respected in the community.

‘Old and young gathered for that walk with the various teams, senior and underage, women and men flanking the hearse and the following cars, a silent salute for a man whose voice was gentle and his approach respectful.

‘That gentleness and respect earned the goodwill of so many and endeared him to young and old.’

Pictured, Members of Charlestown GAA club walk behind the coffin of Detective Garda Colm Horkan as it is carried to St James' church today

Pictured, Members of Charlestown GAA club walk behind the coffin of Detective Garda Colm Horkan as it is carried to St James’ church today

The Garda planned the funeral to ensure Mr Horkan was afforded formal state honours within the current coronavirus regulations on public gatherings

The Garda planned the funeral to ensure Mr Horkan was afforded formal state honours within the current coronavirus regulations on public gatherings

In his homily, Monsignor Tommy Johnston described Mr Horkan as one of nature's gentlemen. Pictured, Gardai line the street during his state funeral today

In his homily, Monsignor Tommy Johnston described Mr Horkan as one of nature’s gentlemen. Pictured, Gardai line the street during his state funeral today

President Michael D Higgins led a memorial service on the grounds of his residence at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.  

Addressing mourners, Commissioner Drew Harris said Colm Horkan’s Garda service was marked by his ‘hard work and diligence’.

The commissioner said his ‘determination and courage’ was on show in the moments before his death on Wednesday night.

‘The manner of Colm’s death should not eclipse Colm’s life,’ he added.

He told Mr Horkan’s family that the garda would always be remembered within the force.

‘I want to assure you that Colm’s name will live on and he will be remembered within An Garda Siochana in the years to come,’ he said.

Mourners broke into impromptu applause at the close of the commissioner’s address.

As well as the state funeral taking place in Charlestown (pictured), President Michael D Higgins also led a memorial service on the grounds of his residence at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin's Phoenix Park

As well as the state funeral taking place in Charlestown (pictured), President Michael D Higgins also led a memorial service on the grounds of his residence at Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin’s Phoenix Park

In his homily, Monsignor Tommy Johnston described the garda as one of nature's gentlemen. Pictured, the coffin of Mr Horkan is carried into the church

In his homily, Monsignor Tommy Johnston described the garda as one of nature’s gentlemen. Pictured, the coffin of Mr Horkan is carried into the church

Mourners broke into impromptu applause at the close of the touching address made by Commissioner Drew Harris address at the state funeral (pictured, his coffin being taken into the church)

Mourners broke into impromptu applause at the close of the touching address made by Commissioner Drew Harris address at the state funeral (pictured, his coffin being taken into the church)

This came while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid his respects at Garda headquarters in Dublin.

The Garda planned the funeral to ensure Mr Horkan was afforded formal state honours within the current coronavirus regulations on public gatherings.

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 his body 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.

On Friday night the hearse also passed by in Charlestown as hundreds of people lined the streets to pay their respects.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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