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Accused in garda murder case unfit to attend court hearing

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Killed: Detective Garda Colm Horkan was shot dead on patrol

Killed: Detective Garda Colm Horkan was shot dead on patrol

Killed: Detective Garda Colm Horkan was shot dead on patrol

The man charged with the murder of Detective Garda Colm Horkan was unfit to attend his first scheduled court hearing and has been detained at the Central Mental Hospital.

Det Gda Horkan (49), from Charlestown, Co Mayo, was shot dead while on patrol in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, on June 17.

Stephen Silver (43), of Aughaward, Foxford, Co Mayo, appeared at Castlerea District Court on June 19, charged with his murder.

Judge Alan Mitchell remanded the accused in custody at Castlerea Prison and ordered him to appear before Harristown District Court yesterday via video link.

During the short hearing, Judge Mitchell issued an order that the accused receive a physical and psychiatric medical assessment.

Confusion

Yesterday, at Harristown, defence solicitor Gearoid Geraghty told Judge Mitchell he was notified Mr Silver had been transferred to the Central Mental Hospital (CMH).

However, some confusion arose as to where Mr Silver was currently being held.

The court heard that despite his detainment in the CMH, Mr Silver was registered to appear via live video link from the Midlands Prison.

"It is not clear if he is now in the Midlands or the Central Mental Hospital," he said.

The court registrar pointed out to Judge Mitchell that according to her list, Mr Silver was in the Midlands.

Mr Geraghty said he was concerned as to "what basis he is being held in the Central Mental Hospital - is it on foot of orders of the court?"

Judge Mitchell decided to rise for 10 minutes while enquiries were made as to the whereabouts of Mr Silver and a "certificate" explaining why he was unable to attend court.

Judge Mitchell said: "Clearly he is unfit, there is a certificate supposed to be sent down and I am disposed to wait and see what that certificate says."

Following this, Judge Mitchell told the court he had received confirmation from the CMH that Mr Silver was being detained there and was unfit to attend.

Judge Mitchell granted an application to extend the legal aid certificate to include a forensic psychiatrist carry out "a comprehensive report on the accused to include fitness to plead".

He remanded Mr Silver in custody to appear again via videolink in Harristown District Court on July 10.

Irish Independent