Friday 30 September 2016

Taoiseach 'dismayed' after book of condolence for Garda Tony Golden was defaced

Elderly woman attacked as hundreds queue nearby to pay respects to murdered garda

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Niall O'Connor

Published 17/10/2015 | 09:08

Friends and colleagues pay their respects at the house of murdered Garda Tony Golden in Blackrock, Co Louth
Friends and colleagues pay their respects at the house of murdered Garda Tony Golden in Blackrock, Co Louth
Garda Tony Golden's funeral took place on Thursday

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said he is "dismayed" at the desecration of a book of condolences for murdered garda Tony Golden.

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The Taoiseach was reacting tonight to news that a mindless thug defaced a book of condolence for Gda Golden in a garda station.

The shocking incident happened in Drogheda Garda Station on Tuesday and led officers to remove the book from the station's public area.

“Can I just say, in passing as well, I am dismayed at what I heard from the news bulletins of the desecration of the book of condolences in respect of garda Tony Golden.” the Taoiseach said as he arrived at the Fine Gael President Dinner in Dublin.

The funeral procession of Garda Tony Golden passes through Blackrock village on its way to St Oliver Plunkett Church, Blackrock in Co Louth, for his state funeral
The funeral procession of Garda Tony Golden passes through Blackrock village on its way to St Oliver Plunkett Church, Blackrock in Co Louth, for his state funeral
Gardai mourn the loss of their comrade Garda Tony Golden
Gardai line the route as the cortege makes its way through Blackrock
Tragic loss: Gardai at the scene of the fatal shooting in Omeath
Tony Golden
Garda Tony Golden's widow Nicola at Thursday's state funeral.

Last night, sources said that rank-and-file gardai are "shocked" at the perpetrator's actions.

"What he did was a vile act, what he wrote was completely out of order," the source said.

"It seems that he has a major problem with gardai but the abusive language that he used is a complete affront, not just to Garda Tony Golden, but every garda."

The suspect, who is aged in his 20s, is from the Moneymore estate in Drogheda and is known to gardai. Sources say that his actions could lead to criminal damage offence charges.

Meanwhile, a woman in her early 70s was assaulted in her home by burglars as hundreds queued nearby to pay their respects to the murdered garda, Tony Golden.

The pensioner was wrestled to the ground on Wednesday when she came across a group of men in her home in Blackrock - while her family was attending the annual novena in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Local priest Fr Michael Cusack told The Irish Times that the woman had heard noises as she walked back to her home at about 5.45pm, and that when a man saw he had been discovered he charged at her, knocked her to the ground, and tried to rob her handbag.

Another man went on to take the bag, and they fled the scene as the woman's daughter arrived home. The family then discovered that the house been ransacked.

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“She said to her daughter she didn’t want to live there anymore. That’s how violated she feels after living a lifetime there," Fr Cusack told the Irish Times.

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Garda Tony Golden (36) was given a hero's State funeral on Thursday, where thousands of gardai lined the streets of Blackrock, Co Louth.

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