Miriam’s Musings

We are deeply indebted to you

Colm, and we will never forget you


The brutal death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan, and the manner in which it occurred, will be forever etched into this county’s soul. Indeed, seldom has an event been received by this county – in fact by the entire nation – with a more devastating feeling of sadness than the death of this local hero, this good man, this decent man, callously cut down while protecting and serving his community as the clock struck midnight on Wednesday, 17th of June last. Colm was only 49 years old.

This week, despite the sun shining, a dark cloud of devastation hangs over County Roscommon, as our community, left reeling with shock, tries hard to come to terms with the killing of a man who by all accounts aspired to make a better and just society in which we could all live.

I didn’t personally know this gentleman who has been described as ‘the quintessential local Garda,’ but I did have the pleasure of meeting and interacting with him on a few occasions. In fact on the last occasion we chatted, Colm, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, made a comment that was so funny, we both fell about the station laughing our heads off, much to the amusement of his colleagues who raised their heads in fascination. That day, I said my goodbyes to Colm, drove home and remarked to my husband that the Gardaí in Castlerea Station and indeed right across this entire county are surely the most decent bunch of down-to-earth men and women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

There’s no doubt that Detective Garda Colm made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. There’s also no doubt that, even as his life was being mercilessly stolen, Colm valiantly attempted to fulfil his solemn oath, an oath all Gardaí take to protect and serve society, and ensure the safety of his community.

There will be plenty of reminders over the next weeks and months of Colm Horkan’s decency, of his bravery, of his sense of fairness and of the esteem in which he was held…will always be held.

Like every single one of us, on that fateful night Colm thought he was going to live to see another day. Now his devastated family, friends, colleagues and those of us he protected are left to mourn, and place our faith in our investigating Gardaí and our criminal justice system to ascertain how and why this peaceful Garda’s family has been robbed of its beloved son, brother, brother-in-law and uncle.

Colm Horkan’s death serves as a tragic and devastating reminder of the dangers and uncertainties facing our Gardaí on a daily basis. My sincere condolences go to everyone who knew him, who worked with him and who loved him. We are deeply indebted to you Colm, and we will never forget you. May you rest in peace.


Well done to the

Ballyleague Men’s Shed


Can I give a shout out to our local Ballyleague Men’s Shed who’ve lovingly crafted and created some absolutely stunning tubs, barrels, pots and hanging baskets of bee-friendly blooms which they’ve generously dotted about the roadside, enhancing what is an already beautiful village. Well done to everyone involved. Myself and he-who-was-trapped-with-me-during-lockdown have marvelled at the range of community-based activities carried out by this local group; the latest of which consists of pollinator-friendly plants, all grown from seed, and supplied to the Ballyleague Tidy Towns committee.

You see readers, we desperately need and depend on bees, butterflies, birds and other pollinators. It’s thanks to them we have the majority of the food we eat. Therefore, by this thoughtful gesture, the members of our local Men’s Shed should be commended for playing their part in making a positive difference to all of our lives.

In providing a diverse and colourful assortment of flowering plants, this non-profit organisation is encouraging our native pollinators, helping them to maintain a habitat and ecosystem on which each and every one of us – humans and animals – heavily depend. Well done to all, your work is very much appreciated.


I’ve had my ‘lockdown locks’

lopped off – and I feel great!


Readers may have noticed there’s no short-haired Barbie. In fact every one of our Disney heroines are sporting long, luscious locks, with the exception of Snow White, who does have a neat little bob, but you get my drift. Long hair’s for women, short hair’s for men!

Now, while my byline pic here has me displaying a short Pixie do, it’s an old one, because I had allowed my locks to grow long again, very long. I’m quite lucky in that I have unusually quick hair growth allowing me to change my style regularly. However, by not having the benefits of a stylist during lockdown, my gruaige’s rapid growth had me resembling something that should be on display at Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Indeed, my hair had become unruly to the point where I was spending hours every day washing, drying, backcombing and teasing it into a shape I hated. This resulted in he-who-was-feeling-very-brave to remark how “all that hair overwhelms you darling”.

Therefore, this week, with every ounce of courage I possessed, and sick of cleaning out the shower drain, I took my unflattering long locks out of a ponytail and asked my daughter, (who’s still in shock, bless her), to chop it all off. The result…I love it!!! I can tell you readers, I got up off that chair and I danced around the kitchen like a born-again Ovaltinee.

Now I admit, I have been feeling about my shoulders for the ‘phantom’ hair I’ve had lopped off, but I’m absolutely thrilled I took the plunge; again. Long hair doesn’t suit me…it’s that simple. Big thanks to hubby for his support and encouragement!