Belfast Telegraph

Garda officer shot dead awarded Gold Scott Medal for bravery

A Garda officer who was shot dead while helping a woman in a violent relationship has been honoured for his bravery.

Garda Tony Golden was awarded a Gold Scott Medal posthumously during a ceremony at the Garda College in Templemore on Friday.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said Mr Golden's life was "cruelly taken while protecting a vulnerable member of his community."

Mr Golden, a father-of-three, was shot dead in Omeath, Co Louth, in October 2015 as he helped a woman escape from her violent partner.

Mr Flanagan said: "Today's posthumous award of the Scott Medal to Tony is a recognition of the exceptional personal bravery, the spirit of determined public service and the utterly fearless dedication to his fellow citizens and to this State that sets Gardai like Tony Golden in a category apart."

Mr Golden's colleague, Garda Gerard O'Callaghan, who went into the house after he heard shots being fired also received a Scott medal.

Five other bravery medals were awarded after one Garda was killed and four seriously injured when a bomb exploded as they responded to an anonymous call threatening the life of former Minister for Defence Oliver J Flanagan in October 1976.

The posthumous award went to Garda Michael Clerkin. His four colleagues Sergeant Jim Cannon, Detective Garda Tom Peters, Detective Garda Ben Thornton and Garda Gerry Bohan received Gold Medals.

The Justice Minister, who is Oliver J Flanagan's son, said he will never forget the "courage and selflessness" of the officers on that night.

He said: "No medal or words of mine could ever negate the loss of Michael's life to his family including his brother Peter who is here today, his friends and colleagues, or the suffering caused to Tom, Ben, Jim and Gerry.

"But I know that today's award of the Scott Medal is hugely important to them as it is a fitting tribute to their exceptional personal bravery, and commitment to public service.

"On behalf of my family, I would like to offer them my heartfelt thanks."

Another recipient of a Gold Medal was Detective Garda Dominick Hutchin who was injured during the robbery of a Department of Social Welfare Office in 1987.

In total 17 Scott medals and 17 Commendations were awarded.

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