A fitting tribute to Tony Golden
Garda Tony Golden, who was murdered in Omeath last year, ‘will be smiling wryly’ on some of the 61 cyclists who undertook the 250km bike ride from Blackrock to Ballina, last week. Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan officially launched the cycle last week at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dundalk, where she was joined by Assistant Commissioner for the Northern Region, John O’Driscoll; Louth’s Chief Superintendent Sean Ward, Drogheda Superintendent Andy Watters and Inspector John O’Flaherty. Dundalk Superintendent, Gerard Curley, was unable to attend the launch event, but he is one of the 61 cyclists, including Gda. Golden’s brothers, Ken, Dave and Sean, who will make the 250km trip in his memory Commissioner O’Sullivan spent time with Gda. Golden’s wife, Nicola, and children – Lucy, Alex and Andrew – before the launch of the event which was, organiser Gda. Declan Whelan said, something his colleagues in Dundalk wanted to do since shortly after his murder, in Omeath, in October last year. He said: ‘Shortly after the tragedy, Nicola was asked about the cycle and the only condition she had was that the jerseys we were using had to have the Mayo colours on them. On Wednesday, 61 cyclists and 28 support crew left the community centre in Blackrock for Ballina, with the first overnight stop being in Drumshambo, Co. Leitrim’ Gda. Whelan said there had been ‘enormous enthusiasm’ for the event, which came about after colleagues felt they wanted to do something for Gda. Golden’s three children. A trust fund for the children’s college education will be established with the proceeds of this cycle. Gda. Whelan said some of those taking part in the event went out and bought road bikes a few months ago and started training, which, Commissioner O’Sullivan later said would ‘bring a wry smile’ to Gda. Golden’s face. Organisers said the response from individuals and local businesses had been ‘incredible’. Gda. Whelan said: ‘We want to express our sincere gratitude to those who have supported this event’. Chief Superintendent Ward said he too wanted to ‘pay tribute to Gda. Golden and his exemplary service’, although he ‘never had the privilege of meeting him in person’. He thanked all those who had contributed to the event, saying ‘their generosity has been outstanding’. ‘The organisers have been tireless and thanks to their commitment, it will be a fitting tribute to the memory of Tony’. Garda Tony Golden, who was murdered in Omeath last year, ‘will be smiling wryly’ on some of the 61 cyclists who set off tomorrow morning for a 250km bike ride from Blackrock to his home county of Mayo, as a number of them only took up cycling for this event. The Garda Tony Golden Memorial Cycle, from Blackrock to Ballina, got underway from the community centre in the seaside village on Wednesday morning last and arrived in Gda. Golden’s home town on Friday afternoon last.