Garda Colm Horkan has been fittingly laid to rest after receiving all due honour and dignity. He was loved and valued personally and was an example of an officer serving his own people with good nature and discretion.
The quiet dignity of the funeral ceremonies over the weekend reminded us that we have got a much better shake of the bag in this country when it comes to policing. An Garda Síochána has its flaws and problems like most organisations - but its members have delivered fair and compassionate policing to the Irish people.
The outpouring of grief and respect across the nation at the brutal slaying of Colm Horkan tells us that Irish people value the work of gardaí. Despite the coronavirus, the fallen hero got the funeral he deserved and all the people showed their solidarity with those men and women who do a difficult job with professional kindness and discretion.
Other countries have a police force which is often a glorified armed militia and their default position is a resort to heavy-handed tactics which inflame things and often worsen community divisions.
In Ireland, there is a large-scale buy-in to our policing system and we are all the better for that.
The policing of the lockdown was a perfect example of this. Gardaí went about ensuring the rules were respected with a deal of good humour and humanity. They got the public's consent.
In a small country place, people know each other well. People knew and regarded Colm Horkan as a decent community-minded person who was generous in spirit and action to his neighbours.
His brutal and pointless death cut the people of Mayo and Roscommon to the quick. Their sentiments were shared by people across the land.
Many of us have a garda in at least our extended family. Most of us know friends and neighbours who joined the force. We know there are thousands of fine men and women like Colm Horkan in An Garda Síochána.
That, in essence, was what the Irish people were telling our police force this weekend. Out of a brutal and evil incident, there was a national coming together. There was a need to say thank you to people who do a job which is sometimes thankless and, on occasion, extremely dangerous.
The people were led by President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris in observing a nationwide moment of silence. The quiet dignity of mourners gathered outside St James's Church in Charlestown, Co Mayo, as well as those assembled in the GAA ground that was a central part of Colm Horkan's life, was an eloquent testament.
These people, and the entire nation, were mourning a nice decent man who went to do a routine day's work in a nearby provincial town, and did not come home. The 15 bullets which laid Colm Horkan low have also pierced our emergence from a harsh three-month lockdown.
We must remember the fallen hero and his colleagues in the force in the days to come.
We thank An Garda Síochána for their good work in difficult times.