Belfast Telegraph

We will be there for you, force chaplain tells murdered Garda's widow

No words can comfort the devastated widow of Garda Tony Golden, the force's chaplain has said.

Fr Joe Kennedy visited mother-of-three Nicola as she struggled to make arrangements for the burial of her 36-year-old husband.

"I told Nicola there is nothing any of us can say or do that would change what's happened," he said.

"But I said we will be there with you over the coming days, to celebrate Tony's life and the good man that he was, the great garda that he was, and most of all the great family man that he was, blessed with three beautiful children."

The heartbroken widow was being comforted at home in Blackrock, Co Louth, by her parents while they awaited the arrival of Garda Golden's parents, who are travelling from Ballina in Co Mayo.

"They are all just devastated, as we all are," said Fr Kennedy.

"I told her we would be there with her over the coming days, but what can you say? It's such a terrible tragedy."

After spending time with the family, Fr Kennedy drove over the Cooley Mountains to the small Garda station in the quiet and scenic waterside village of Omeath, where Garda Golden was stationed along with two colleagues.

"I was just thinking how inappropriate and tragic this is in such a lovely spot," he said outside the station in the bright autumn sunshine.

"The lads in there really feel it. They've lost a great colleague and a great friend.

"Most of the country last night, as I was doing, was watching Ireland versus France and Tony was going up to help in a situation.

"Little did he know that this was going to happen. They are just devastated in there."

A prayer ceremony is to be held tomorrow in Dundalk garda station for colleagues of Garda Golden to gather and remember him.

He was the 88th member of the force to be killed in the line of duty.

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