Today marks the first anniversary of the death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan.
The 49-year-old from Charlestown became the 89th member of An Garda Siochana to be killed in the line of duty, after he was shot and fatally injured in Castlerea shortly before midnight on June 17th last year.
A private anniversary Mass will be held in Charlestown later this evening, while a special commemoration will be held in Castlerea on Saturday, which the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris will attend.
In a statement today, the Commissioner said it's a very sad and difficult day for Colm's family and friends, his colleagues and the local community.
But as well as sadness, he says there's great pride in Colm as a person who was loved and respected by so many people, in his community spirit and desire to help other, and In his 24 years of dedicated service to An Garda Siochana and to the State.
Commissioner Harris says Colm Horkan was "the epitome of what all Gardai should aspire to be - professional, hard-working, supportive, community-focused and brave".
He concludes the statement by saying that Colm will never be forgotten.
Chief Superintendent for the Roscommon / Longford Garda Division Tony Healy says today is the day to remember the best of Colm and his contribution to policing in the community. Speaking to Midwest News he said it is a sad day for all gardai and particularly for Colm’s friends and family.
Garda David Conroy is the GRA representative for the Roscommon-Longford garda division . He says it’s a sad day for everyone who knew Colm..
Colm Horkan's family in Charlestown have also issued a statement on the first anniversary of his tragic death.
They say the Horkan family lost a son, a brother, an uncle - while his friends and work colleagues lost a dear friend on that fateful night one year ago, when Colm was murdered in the most brutal way.
Colm would have turned 50 last December, and his family say he attended every party and function, dressed impeccably, and had a word for everyone, while his infectious smile would brighten up any occasion.
Detective Garda Colm Horkan was a proud, popular, respected member of An Garda Siochana who loved his job and wore his uniform with great pride, while serving the community for over 25 years.
His family say he was a kind, thoughtful and loyal gentleman - on a personal and professional level - and his life was ended long before his time.
Sadly, his family never got the opportunity to say goodbye, and say life will never be the same without Colm.
On the first anniversary of his death, the family say the depth and sincerity of support from so many people has given them great comfort.