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Man appears in court charged with murder of Garda Colm Horkan

Mr Horkan was shot dead in Castlerea on Wednesday night.

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Flowers outside Ballaghaderreen Garda Station, where Detective Garda Colm Horkan was based (PA)

Flowers outside Ballaghaderreen Garda Station, where Detective Garda Colm Horkan was based (PA)

Flowers outside Ballaghaderreen Garda Station, where Detective Garda Colm Horkan was based (PA)

A 43-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Detective Garda Colm Horkan.

Stephen Sliver, from Aughaward, Foxford in Co Mayo, appeared before a special sitting at Castlerea District Court on Friday night wearing a black T-shirt and jogging bottoms.

Following the brief appearance, Judge Alan Mitchell remanded him into custody and he will appear in court next week via videolink.

Mr Horkan was shot dead in Castlerea on Wednesday night.

On Friday, hundreds of people gathered in Mayo and Roscommon to pay their respects to Mr Horkan.

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.

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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)

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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.

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

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