Man arrested after Irish police officer dies in late-night shooting

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Detective Garda Colm Horkan was shot and killed during an incident in Castlerea, Ireland. (PA/Wikipedia/file pic)

Police in Ireland have arrested a man after an officer was killed in a late-night shooting.

Detective Garda Colm Horkan worked for An Garda Siochana (AGSI) for 24 years and is the 89th member of the force killed in the line of duty since its founding in 1922.

Gardai in Castlerea, 125 kilometres north-west of Dublin, said in a statement the incident happened just before midnight on Wednesday, and a man has been detained in connection with the incident.

Traffic has been blocked from entering Castlerea's town centre as investigations continue in the town of less than 2,000.

The arrested man is currently being detained in Castlerea Garda Station.

Garda commissioner Drew Harris paid tribute to the shot officer.

He said: "I am deeply saddened by the death of my colleague, Detective Garda Colm Horkan.

"My thoughts, and the thoughts of all personnel in An Garda Siochana, are with the family, friends and colleagues of Detective Garda Colm Horkan at Castlerea Garda Station and the detective unit he served in.

The shooting took place in Castlerea, 125 kilometres north-west of Dublin. (Wikipedia/file photo)

"Colm served the communities he worked in with distinction and pride during his 24 years as a member of An Garda Siochana.

"Detective Garda Colm Horkan is the 89th member of An Garda Siochana killed in the line of duty.

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"Today is a terrible reminder of the significant sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, that Gardai make to keep people save.

I want to thank the local community in Castlerea and the country as a whole for the support they have shown to An Garda Siochana and individual Gardai, even in the short time since the incident.

"The fatal shooting of Detective Garda Colm Horkan remains under investigation."

The Garda statement added: "It is with deepest sadness An Garda Siochana (AGSI) confirms the death of our colleague, resulting from fatal gunshot wounds received during an incident in Castlerea shortly before midnight on Wednesday 17th June 2020.”

AGSI general secretary Antoinette Cunningham said the shooting was “absolutely devastating”.

She added to the Irish Examiner: “I spoke to the chief superintendent up there this morning and they are all absolutely devastated at his loss.

"It's very, very tough."

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Ireland's justice minister Charlie Flanagan offered his condolences, tweeting: "Tragic news from Castlerea this morning with the death of Garda in the line of duty.

"My heartfelt sympathy to his family, friends and all Gardai. Murder investigation under way."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Castlerea Garda Station at 094 962 1635.