'We got justice': Killer of Garda Colm Horkan handed life sentence

'We got justice': Killer of Garda Colm Horkan handed life sentence

THE KILLER of Detective Garda Colm Horkan has been handed a life sentence at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin today.

Stephen Silver, 46, of Aughavard, Foxford, Co. Mayo, was found guilty last month of the 2020 murder of Garda Horkan.

Silver, who had denied murder but admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, must serve a minimum of 40 years.

'Wonderful gentleman'

Speaking outside court, Garda Horkan's father Marty Horkan said he was glad his three-year battle to get justice for his son was at an end.

"It's great to be able to move forward now, it's been a tough three years," said Mr Horkan.

"It's great to have it over and we got justice for Colm and that's what he deserved, because he was one wonderful gentleman.

Marty Horkan, father of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, outside court in Dublin following the sentencing of his son’s killer (Image: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie)

"He worked anywhere for anybody that he could help at all times, he was a wonderful, wonderful son.

"It's a sad house, it has been, but at least we can go forward from today."

Asked about his son's murderer, Mr Horkan expressed sympathy for Silver's mother, but said he felt the killer only apologised under instruction from his legal team.

Mr Horkan felt Silver's overdue apology was insincere ((Image: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie)

"It took him two-and-a-half years to apologise to me and my family," said an emotional Mr Horkan.

"Two-and-a half years after, he came out with an apology, and I'd safely say he was advised by his legal team to do that, otherwise he wouldn't have done it.

"All I will say is he got justice for what he done."


Garda Horkan, 49, had served as a member of An Garda Síochána since 1994.

Shortly before midnight on June 17, 2020, he responded to reports of two males driving erratically on a motorcycle in the Knockroe area of Castlerea.

Although they had since left the area, Garda Horkan continued his patrol and came across two males fitting the description on Main Street, Castlerea.

He stopped his unmarked car and spoke through the window with the males, one of whom he knew.

The other male, Silver, then became aggressive and Garda Horkan exited his car.

As he attempted to make an arrest, Silver resisted and a struggle ensued.

During the struggle, Silver managed to take possession of Garda Horkan's firearm, shooting him 11 times and fatally injuring him.