State Funeral of Garda Tony Golden Takes Place Today
The State funeral of Garda Tony Golden will take place in Co. Louth today. Garda Golden was shot dead while responding to a domestic dispute in Omeath last Sunday.Garda Goldan’s remains will be brought from his home to St. Oliver Plunkett Church in Blackrock, Co. Louth, where the funeral mass will take place at noon. The mass will be followed by a private burial at St. Paul’s, Heynestown. Family flowers only.
Added to the tradgedy of Garda Golden’s shocking death is the grief of his wife Nicola, as well as his children, Lucy, Alex and Andrew. He was 36years old when his life was taken. President Michael D Higgins is expected to attend the funeral, along with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan and the Chief Constable of the PSNI. 4,000 serving and retired gardaí from all corners of the country will also be attending.
The chief celebrant of the mass will be Fr Pádraig Keenan, the parish priest of Haggardstown. He will be joined on the alter by the vical general of the Armagh diocese Dean Colum Curry, Bishop John Fleming from the Diocese of Killala, and Fr Gerard O’Hara, the parish priest of Ballina.
The church of St Oliver Plunkett has only 300 seats, which will be reserved for family, friends and colleagues. Screens have been errected in the church grounds and the villiage to cater to those outside. Roads in the villiage will be closed at 10am. Dermot O’Brien, President of the Garda Representative Association, has said members of the gardaí are left shocked and grief sticken by the incident. “They are angry, grieving and disillusioned because today they have to bury a second friend, a murdered friend, a second murdered colleague.”
Mr O’Brien said that this period of mourning will be a time for all gardaí to reflect in their own way about the dangers they face in the line of duty. “These are very similiar calls that a lot of members did on Sunday and they will sit back and reflect on what happened to Tony as they responded to a similar call.”
The incident that led to this tragedy took place on Suday night while Garda Golden was escorting a woman to collect her personal bellongings from a property in the Mullach Alainn estate near Omeath, north Co. Louth. The woman, identified as Siobhan Phillips, entered the home and was shot by her partner. Garda Golden was then fatally shot by the same man as he tried to help her. Ms Phillips is currently in hospital, where she is being watched over by friends and family.
Tony Golden was born in Ballina, Co. Mayo. He was the son of David and Breege Golden, and brother of David, Kenneth, Patrick and Seán, and Mary. He has been described as a “dedicated” member of An Garda Síochána, and has served for more that 10 years in several division. He will be sorely missed by all.