Hundreds attend Mayo memorial for hero garda Tony Golden
They arrived at St Muredach's Cathedral in Ballina to say farewell to one of their own.
Garda Tony Golden was remembered as "our garda" in his adopted Omeath, but in Culleens and Ballina, Co Mayo, where he was born and raised, they gathered last night to remember their native son. As night fell, hundreds of locals packed into the cathedral; those who had known Tony Golden as a child, a schoolmate, a team-mate, a friend.
A grieving community remembered the young man and his heartbroken family.
Bishop John Fleming offered the Golden family the sympathy of everyone in the area adding: "Tony's murder stunned our nation and devastated your family."
Readings were by Tony's sister Mary and brother Seán.
His love of Mayo and his family was visible from the mementos on the altar. A GAA jersey and family photos took pride of place alongside his garda hat.
Bishop Fleming told the congregation that no words could describe how good a man Tony was, nor would any words he could add do justice to the young father.
He praised Tony's bravery in choosing his profession, saying there had been 80 garda deaths by the time he joined the force and that he had been aware of the great risks. Yet he was "undaunted" when he made that choice.
Bishop Fleming said Tony "paid the ultimate price" for being a guardian of the peace. "Without thought for his own safety, he protected two vulnerable lives on Sunday last and protected them from death at the hands of a murderer," he said.