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Saturday 23 June 2018

Tributes paid after leading detective found dead in Dublin garda station

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Stock picture

Robin Schiller

Tributes have been paid to one of the country’s most experienced criminal investigators who was found dead at a Dublin garda station over the weekend.

Det Supt Colm Fox, who was the senior detective overseeing the Regency Hotel murder probe, was discovered fatally injured in Ballymun garda station at around 9pm on Saturday night.

Gardai and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) 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.

Colleagues of the veteran garda have paid their respects, describing him as a “fully committed” investigator who was involved in some of the country’s most high-profile murder inquiries.

These included the investigation into the murder of teenager Daniel McAnespie (17) in 2010.

Daniel, who was in the care of the state when he was killed, was discovered in a drain in Rathfeigh, Co Meath three months after he was first reported missing.

Colm Fox, who was a Detective Inspector at the time, oversaw the painstaking investigation which last year saw two men being convicted in relation to Daniel McAnespie’s killing.

Richard Dekker (31) was found guilty of Daniel’s murder while Trevor Noone (29) pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Det Supt Colm Fox was also currently leading the investigation into David Byrne’s murder at the Regency Hotel in February 5, 2016.

He was also heading the garda inquiry into the double murder of two innocent people in Ballymun last year.

Mother-of-six Antoinette Corbally (48) and locksmith Clinton Shannon (30) were gunned down on August 16 on Balbutcher Drive after being caught in the crossfire of a gangland hit.

Det Supt Fox spent the majority of his career in the Dublin Region, but also served as Supt in Swinford, Co Mayo and in a number of garda national units.

Supt Denis Ferry, General Secretary of the Association of Garda Superintendents, described Det Supt Fox as a “very capable” policeman and said the organisation was “shocked” by the news.

“Our sympathies must firstly go out to Colm’s wife, family and friends as well as his colleagues who have worked with him over the years.

“He was a fully committed garda who worked in a number of stations in the DMR as well as the Headquarters, and he was at the forefront  a number of high profile cases.

“We are absolutely shocked and devastated at his death, and he was also very active with the association. He will be greatly missed,” Supt Ferry said.

Dublin City Councillor for Fianna Fail, Daithi De Roiste, who is chair of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC) said:  “This is a tragic loss.  As chair of the JPC my thoughts and prayers go out to the officer’s family and friends and his colleagues at this time.”

A Garda Press Office spokeswoman said:  “We are investigating the sudden death of a member at Ballymun garda station at 9pm yesterday evening.  The Garda Ombudsman has also been informed.

“Foul play is not expected.”

If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact The Samaritans free helpline on 116 123.

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