Wednesday 25 April 2018

'As a garda, he stood out' - Hundreds form guard of honour at funeral of Det Supt Colm Fox

The hearse carrying Detective Superintendent Colm Fox from his funeral mass in Malahide, Dublin Pic:Mark Condren
The hearse carrying Detective Superintendent Colm Fox from his funeral mass in Malahide, Dublin Pic:Mark Condren
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

One of the country's most experienced criminal investigators, who was found dead at a Dublin garda station on Saturday, has been remembered as a man who always influenced for the good.

Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, from Malahide in Dublin, who was the lead detective overseeing the Regency Hotel murder probe, was discovered fatally injured in Ballymun garda station at about 9pm on Saturday.

Gardaí and the Garda Ombudsman have launched separate investigations into the incident, and his death is being treated as a personal tragedy.

The senior detective's official firearm was also recovered at the scene.

Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin at the funeral mass in Malahide of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who died at the weekend.
Pic:Mark Condren
Acting Garda Commissioner Dónall Ó Cualáin at the funeral mass in Malahide of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who died at the weekend. Pic:Mark Condren

At his funeral mass today in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Seabury in Malahide, Fr Sean Donohoe, who is also a brother of Colm’s wife Edel, said the life and death of each of us has influence on others.

“Colm always influenced for the good. He had an enormous influence on his neighbours and friends here in Seabury, and on his work colleagues, and also on the victims of crime that he helped through his investigations,” he said.

Gardai at the funeral mass in Malahide of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who died at the weekend.
Pic:Mark Condren
Gardai at the funeral mass in Malahide of Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who died at the weekend. Pic:Mark Condren

“He was involved in many high profile cases, no more than the the Regency case that is in the courts,” he added.

“Today we find ourselves in a horrible mess. As a family, as a force, and as friends, we’re in the middle of a horrific tragedy and we have a choice of what way we can go.

“We can go under, or we can do what Colm Fox would do. We can use this situation to influence for good,” said Fr Donohoe.

“We can do that by being conscientious in how we live our own lives, because Colm was always conscientious in how he lived his life.

Members of the Gardai during the funeral of Garda Detective Superintendent Colm Fox at the Church of The Sacred Heart, Seabury, Malahide, Dublin. Photo Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Gardai during the funeral of Garda Detective Superintendent Colm Fox at the Church of The Sacred Heart, Seabury, Malahide, Dublin. Photo Gareth Chaney Collins

“We can do this by not being afraid to ask for help, and we can do this by putting our families first,” he added.

Before calling a minute’s silence in prayer, Fr Donohoe asked that mourners pray for Colm’s family and the gardai.

“Pray for two things. His wife Edel and the kids, the whole Fox family, and the Donohoe family.

And secondly, pray for the Gardai, that they may receive every support possible in the work that they do as guardians of peace in our land, from within their own resources, and from society as they protect us as a nation,” he said.

Members of the Gardai during the funeral of Garda Detective Superintendent Colm Fox at the Church of The Sacred Heart, Seabury, Malahide, Dublin. Photo Gareth Chaney Collins
Members of the Gardai during the funeral of Garda Detective Superintendent Colm Fox at the Church of The Sacred Heart, Seabury, Malahide, Dublin. Photo Gareth Chaney Collins

Speaking at the end of the mass, colleague and Assistant Commissioner Barry O’Brien said it was with “a total sense of disbelief and shock and devastation that all of us learned of the death of our dear friend and colleague Colm Fox last Saturday night into Sunday morning”.

“Added to the sense of bewilderment was the knowledge that Colm, who embraced an enormous capacity for others, was for the last few weeks, embarked on a lonely journey himself,” he added.

“As a policeman, Colm stands out among a very small group of individuals who stand head and shoulders above all others in the area of crime investigation,” he said.

The President Michael D Higgins was represented by his aide-de-camp Commandant Brian Walsh, while Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was represented by aide-de-camp Comdt Barry Carey.

Colm Fox was mourned by his wife Edel, children Rebecca, Megan and David, parents Dessie and Betty, sisters Gillian, Audrey and Creona, parents-in-law Sean and Doreen Donohue, and wider family, friends and colleagues.

After requiem mass hundreds of Gardai formed a guard of honour as the hearse bearing his remains was first driven past the family home and then to Dardistown Cemetery.

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