PICS: Thousands turn out for funeral of Garda Anthony Golden
The funeral of Garda Anthony Golden was attended by friends, family and a large number of fellow Gardai.
Gardai from all over the country formed a guard of honour for Garda Anthony Golden as his coffin was brought from his home to St Oliver Plunkett Church in Blackrock, Co Louth.
As it passed the station where he worked, a group of local schoolchildren stood in silent tribute to the father of three who was shot dead while on duty on Sunday evening.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins were among the mourners in the church for the ceremony for which Father Pádraig Keenan, parish priest of Haggardstown and Blackrock, was the chief celebrant at the State funeral.
Others in attendance include the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and the chief constable of the PSNI.
“One cannot imagine the pain and hurt that is experienced by the loss of those who loved Garda Tony,” Father Keenan said during the service.
“Tony quietly let his light shine in so many ways through his life in a very humble way. Amidst our sadness may we be thankful for the charisma of his beautiful but too short life.”
“In the stillness of a beautiful Sunday evening, last Sunday, we shared as a nation in the joy of a momentous sporting moment on the playing field of the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff,” he said.
“That stillness was shattered in the picturesque village of Omeath as it became the centre of national and international coverage in light of the tragic events that unfolded.
“The magnitude of what took place brings to mind all those who have been affected in so many ways.
“Tragically it resulted in the cold blooded murder of Garda Tony Golden in the line of duty. Murder is evil, murder has no place in our society. Murder must stop. All forms of violence must stop.
“We remember in our thoughts and prayers the young woman Siobhan who is seriously injured.
“Garda Tony is the 88th member of An Garda Síochána who has died protecting our country, our society and our community.
“It is eighty eight members too many.
“He like all the others is mourned by the entire nation.
“His murder brings to mind once again all the families and communities that have been affected on our island.”
Mourners heard how North Louth has been affected by the Troubles and how Garda Golden’s death was a harsh reminder of the death of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe, three years ago at Lordship Credit Union in Bellurgan.
“Too many hearts have been broken, and lives shattered,” Father Keenan told the church.
“I say on this day, from the depths of my heart - and I am sure I speak for all people of goodwill - when I say that there is no place for violence in our society, violence is wrong, always wrong.
“As a husband, father, son, brother family member and friend, each and every one of his family circle expressed such love and pride for Tony.
“Tony was one of life’s gentlemen. As Patrick his brother said to me, “A big gentle giant”, a lovely man.
“He had a charisma that was calm, gentle and polite, as reflected in our second reading.
“Tony showed us a way to love that is better than anything else in life. Tony with Nicola believed in life, a life that gave them hope in the spirit of love.
“Tony made his time on this earth beautiful in so many ways, and in one’s brokenness, they will be the memories to be always treasured and cherished forever.”
He assured the congregation that Tony’s spirit would be with his three children as they grow up.