Wednesday, March 15, 2023


The late Garda Colm Horkan.


Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has paid tribute  to the late Detective Garda Colm Horkan and to the investigation team at  Castlerea Garda Station.


Commissioner Harris made his comments after the  jury at the Central Criminal Court found Stephen Silver guilty of capital murder. The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for a total of eight hours and 39 minutes before returning their verdict today to Ms Justice Tara Burns.

Silver, (46), a motorbike mechanic from Aughaward, Foxford, County Mayo had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Det Garda Horkan in Castlerea back on June 17th 2020. He now faces the mandatory minimum sentence of 40 years in prison having been convicted of capital murder.

In a statement this evening Commissioner Harris said: “Today is a sombre day, in particular for Colm Horkan’s family and friends, and for everybody in Colm’s wider Garda family.


“An Garda Síochána notes the verdict of the jury today for the capital murder of Detective Garda Colm Horkan.


“Colm went to work in Castlerea Garda Station on the June 17th, 2020. It was a routine day’s work for Colm.


“Colm was murdered on duty and never came home to his family.


“Colm’s death reinforces to every member of An Garda Síochána the reality of the dangers and the uncertainty of the work that we face every day.


“I want to pay tribute to the Garda investigation team in Castlerea Garda Station, supported by the wider Garda organisation, that professionally investigated all the circumstances of Colm’s murder.


“That investigation is a tribute to the professionalism of An Garda Síochána and to Colm.


“Finally, today we stand with and support Colm’s father Marty, his siblings, wider family and friends and we remember his mother Dolores and twin sister Colette.


“Today, as every day, we remember our colleague Colm who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the local community he served so well.


“He will always be remembered as the kind, caring man, and professional and empathetic Garda, that he was.”


Justice Minister Simon Harris said the murder in 2020 had “shocked us all”.


“My thoughts today are with the family and friends of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, and with all his colleagues in An Garda Síochána,” he said.


“Colm’s murder in June 2020 shocked us all.


“It stole from his family and friends a beloved, kind and gentle man who served with duty and distinction, keeping his community safe and serving the State.


“The Colm his family and friends knew and loved so much became a personal loss for the whole country.


“A proud Mayo and GAA man; loved and respected in his community and by his colleagues; steadfast in his duties and professional and wholehearted in doing the job he loved as a Garda.


“His murder again reminded us of the risks the brave men and women of An Garda Síochána take every day to protect our communities, and the burden all Garda families carry in supporting them.


“We also remember the 88 other Gardaí who have lost their lives in the line of duty and their families today.


“Detective Garda Horkan exemplified the courage and dedication of An Garda Síochána, and I hope his family, friends and colleagues can take some comfort in justice being done today.”



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