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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Tributes paid as gangland probe officer found dead in garda station

Det-Supt Colm Fox. Photo: Collins
Det-Supt Colm Fox. Photo: Collins
Robin Schiller

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.

Detective Superintendent Colm Fox, who was the lead detective overseeing the Regency Hotel murder probe, was discovered fatally injured in Ballymun garda station 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.

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 Dublin teenager Daniel McAnespie (17) in 2010.

Daniel, who was in the care of the State at the time of his killing, was discovered in a drain in Rathfeigh, Co Meath, three months after he was first reported missing.

Det-Supt Fox, who was a detective inspector at the time, led the investigation that last year led to two men being convicted in relation to the killing.

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

Det-Supt Fox was also leading the investigation into David Byrne's murder at the Regency Hotel on February 5, 2016.

He was also heading the garda inquiry into the double murder of two innocent people in Ballymun, Dublin, 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 superintendent 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.

He said that the organisation had been left "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.

"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 Fáil, Daithí de Róiste, 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," he added.

Anyone affected by this story can call Samaritans on 116 123 (free call) or text 087 2 60 90 90 (standard text rates apply).

Irish Independent

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