The brother of Detective Garda Colm Horkan has spoken of how his family will experience a “lifetime of sorrow” without him.
Following the shooting of his brother in Castlerea, Dermot Horkan (43) told The Irish Sun that Colm was the family’s “rock” and the man they all went to for help.
Detective Horkan, who spent more than two decades at garda stations in Ballaghaderreen and Castlerea, was shot dead during in Castlerea late on June 17th. A 43-year-old man has been charged with his murder.
In the interview with The Irish Sun, Dermot said that his role as an undertaker reminded him of his family’s “unbearable loss” every day.
“We’ll be lost without him. It’s impossible to explain the pain we have experienced since he was taken from us and we will never ever get over the loss of a very special person in our lives. I returned to work last week because a relative of my dad’s neighbour passed away and when we were at the service I could see my brother’s grave just a short distance away — it was just heartbreaking.
“The pain is just so raw at the moment but we will never ever forget him — he was the glue that held us all together. Nothing can prepare a family for such a horrific incident and there will always be a huge void in our lives without him but his memory will always live on,” he said.
He went on to say that his father, Marty, 78, had been “a tower of strength since we lost Colm and I don’t know how he does it. He has buried his wife, his brother, his sister, his daughter and now Colm. It’s just been awful for him. No father should have had to bury their child on Father’s Day and it’s just heartbreaking. Everything from 11 days ago is still so raw for us all but my father’s strength is extraordinary.”
Dermot noted that Colm was supposed to celebrate his 50th birthday in December.
“He should be here with us and not lying in a graveyard. He was the life and soul of the party and had his whole life in front of him and he’s now just going to miss out on so much . . . it’s just terrible.”
Dermot also spoke of how people were continuing to visit his brother’s grave. He said: “We have had people turn up at the graveyard at 6 a.m. just to pay their respects to my wonderful brother.
“We have also had visits from people in Donegal and Limerick because the whole country has been affected by this senseless tragedy.
“I also had a wreath from the ceremony at Pearse Street Garda station in Dublin sent to me and I can’t thank Superintendent Joe Gannon enough for this lovely gesture.”
He paid tribute to everyone who has helped his family over the last 11 days: “The support we have received from our local community and from across Ireland has been nothing short of remarkable, we can’t thank everyone enough.
“The community came out and stood in solidarity with us and this has provided a great source of comfort to us.
“We still have people coming up to the house with meals and this shows the impression Colm made on so many lives.
“His classmates have also called to the house and it’s also been comforting to hear their stories about Colm. They, like us, will never forget how he lit up our lives.”