Court hears man accused of Detective Horkan’s murder unfit to appear

The investigation into the murder of Det. Garda Colm Horkan is progressing at ‘rapid speed’, a court has been told.

Sgt. Mark Mahon told Judge Alan Mitchell at Harristown District Court in Castlerea, Co Roscommon, that ‘numerous detectives and senior officers’ were working on the case.

The court was told that Stephen Silver of Aughaward, Foxford, Co Mayo, who is charged with the murder of Det. Garda Horkan in Castlerea on June 17, was unfit to appear.

The 43-year old was due to appear at Harristown District Court by video link but Judge Mitchell said he had received a sick note.
The court was told that Silver was being detained at the Central Mental Hospital.

Defence solicitor Gearoid Geraghty said it needed to be established why his client was being detained there.

Mr Geraghty also requested an update on what progress was being made in the preparation of a book of evidence.
He also asked Judge Mitchell that it be established why his client was transferred from Castlerea Prison to Midlands Prison and from there to the Central Mental Hospital.

Mr Geraghty had requested at a previous court hearing two weeks earlier that a consultant forensic psychiatrist be deployed to establish his client’s fitness to plead.

Sgt. Mahon told the court that the State’s application was that Silver be remanded in custody for two weeks to appear before Harristown District Court by video link on July 24.

Sgt Mahon said that the case was ‘advancing at rapid speed’ and that ‘numerous detectives and senior officers’ were working on it.

He said that it was an extremely serious charge and that it would take time for preparation of the book of evidence.

Judge Mitchell remanded Silver in custody for two weeks and also requested a letter from the governor of Castlerea Prison outlining why the defendant was transferred to Midlands Prison and to the Central Mental Hospital.