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Family praises police officer gunned down as he protected woman at home

Published 14/10/2015

Tony Golden went with Siobhan Phillips to protect her
Tony Golden went with Siobhan Phillips to protect her

The family of a young mother fighting for her life after being gunned down by her ex-partner have praised the police officer who died trying to save her.

Siobhan Phillips, 21, was shot a number of times as she went to collect belongings from a house she shared with dissident republican suspect Adrian Crevan Mackin.

Crevan Mackin, 24, then turned his illegally-held Glock pistol on Garda Anthony Golden, 36, who went with mother-of-two Ms Phillips to protect her, before killing himself.

The murder-suicide in the quiet, seaside village of Omeath, Co Louth, as most of Ireland was watching a Rugby World Cup qualifier, has rocked the country.

Sean and Norma Phillips, parents of Siobhan, said Mr Golden, a married father of three, laid down his life to save their daughter.

"We would like to pay tribute to and express our condolences to the family and colleagues of Garda Anthony Golden," they said in a statement.

"Garda Golden, in the service and protection of others, laid down his life for my daughter Siobhan, myself and my family.

"There are no words to express our gratitude for his bravery, we are forever in his debt."

Mr and Mrs Phillips said their "beautiful daughter Siobhan, a loving mother, sister and friend" is still fighting for her life at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

"For now, we pray for Siobhan's recovery and for the family of Garda Golden as they face their immeasurable grief," they said.

"We ask for privacy for our family and Siobhan's small children at this time."

Ms Phillips had made an appointment to make a formal complaint about domestic violence on Sunday before arranging to collect belongings from the house on the Mullach Alainn estate.

She was accompanied by Mr Golden and her father, who was told to wait outside while they went in to the house.

Mr Phillips heard the gunshots and called emergency services.

Mr Golden was originally from Ballina, Co Mayo, and had been stationed in Cabinteely, south Dublin, before a transfer to Omeath, a rural area a few miles from the border with Northern Ireland.

His funeral takes place on Thursday at St Oliver Plunkett Church, Blackrock, Co Louth.

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