Man handed life sentence for the capital murder of Detective Garda Colm Horkan

Stephen Silver, of Foxford, Co. Mayo, shot the detective eleven times during an attempted arrest in Castlerea, Co Roscommon in June 2020.

Det Garda Colm Horkan moved to arrest Stephen Silver near Main Street in Castlerea, Co Roscommon on the night of the 17th of June 2020.

A struggle developed, during which Silver disarmed the detective and used his standard issue firearm to shoot him eleven times.

He claimed he was suffering a relapse of a mental disorder at the time, however he was convicted of capital murder by unanimous verdict.

In his victim impact statement, Colm Horkan’s father Marty, described his son as “reliable and honest” and he said he was proud of him, especially when he heard stories of how he helped people in a “quiet and unassuming way.”

Colm’s sister Deirdre, described him as a “real gent” who was the “apple of everyone’s eye.”

She said the best part of her died on the street with her brother that night.

Stephen Silver will have to spend at least forty years behind bars because he killed a Garda in the course of his duties.

Speaking following the sentencing, President of the Garda Representative Association Brendan O’Connor said Det Garda Horkan was a much loved, respected and dedicated member of An Garda Síochána:

“His loss has been deeply felt in the passing years. Members who knew him have told me that Colm was a great character and an absolute gentleman who was always looking out for ­others. He will never be forgotten. I would like to extend the thoughts and sympathies of the Garda Representative Association to his family, colleagues and friends and all who loved him. I would also like to acknowledge the work and professionalism of the investigating team in this extremely difficult case which led to today’s sentencing.”


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