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Hundreds line streets to pay respects to murdered guard

Detective Garda Colm Horkan’s funeral will take place at St James’s Church in Charlestown on Sunday.

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The hearse arrives in Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon (Michael McCormack/PA)

The hearse arrives in Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon (Michael McCormack/PA)

The hearse arrives in Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon (Michael McCormack/PA)

Hundreds of people gathered in Mayo and Roscommon to pay their respects to Detective Garda Colm Horkan, who was murdered this week.

There were emotional scenes in Ballaghaderreen as the hearse carrying the remains of Mr Horkan made its way through the town towards his home in Charlestown on Friday.

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The hearse arrives in Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon (Michael McCormack/PA)

The hearse arrives in Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon (Michael McCormack/PA)

PA

The hearse arrives in Ballaghaderreen in Co Roscommon (Michael McCormack/PA)

The cortege was flanked by gardai on motorcycles while people lined the streets where Mr Horkan had worked for several years.

Floral tributes were left outside Ballaghaderreen garda station. In Castlerea, where the garda was shot dead, many people queued to sign a book of condolence.

Mr Horkan’s funeral will take place at St James’s Church in Charlestown on Sunday.

Mr Horkan was shot dead while on duty on Wednesday night.

A man in his 40s remains in custody in Castlerea garda station.

He can be questioned for up to 72 hours from the time of his arrest.

Gardai believe Detective Horkan’s gun was taken from him after he became involved an altercation while he was on patrol in the town.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris has described the killing as a “random act”.

Hundreds of local people gathered in Castlerea on Thursday evening for a vigil paying tribute to Detective Garda Horkan.

Gardai are examining how a State funeral will be held for Detective Horkan given the Covid-19 restrictions as members of the public will also want to pay their respects.

Books of condolence have opened at garda stations around the country.

Dublin City Council has opened an online book of condolence, with all messages to be presented to Detective Horkan’s family.

Meanwhile, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran said the death of Detective Garda Horkan has caused outrage in the area and appealed for calm.

Bishop Doran said the community in Co Roscommon is still trying to come to terms with Detective Horkan’s death.

“There is an actual feeling of revulsion in people about what happened… it is important we don’t allow what has happened to bring our society down to that level. What has happened and the cruel way in which it happened, does not and cannot define the kind of society that we are,” he told Shannonside FM.

Politicians were among those signing books of condolence.

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald and Labour TD Brendan Howlin were among those to pay their respects.

PA