Siobhan Phillips 'may have no quality of life' as a result of her injuries
The young woman injured in the horror murder-suicide that saw hero Garda Tony Golden shot dead, may have no quality of life as a result of her injuries, a local priest has said.
Mum-of-two Siobhan Phillips was left fighting for her life after being shot by Adrian Crevan Mackin, who also killed Gda Golden (36) just over a week ago.
The garda officer had been accompanying Ms Phillips to her home in Omeath, Co Louth, because she was fleeing her partner Crevan Mackin, who had beaten her. The killer then died after turning the gun on himself.
Local priest Fr Michael Cusack, rector at St Joseph's Monastery in Dundalk, branded the killer's actions as "cowardice".
"The way in which he takes out another life, leaves Siobhan in a condition that will probably never, ever really give her any quality of life at all, leaves Nicola [Gda Golden's wife] and her family bereft, and leaves the whole community saddened.
"It's a tough, tough time for the force on the border," he told RTE's Marian Finucane.
His comments come as it was revealed that Crevan Mackin had issued a sick threat to Siobhan Phillips' grandmother as he tried to stop her from leaving him.
"If you leave me, I'm going to shoot your granny," Crevan Mackin had warned his terrified girlfriend.
He had also threatened to kill other named members of the McBride and Phillips family.
"Siobhan dotes on her granny, and vice versa. Everyone knew that," a neighbour said.
Rosey McBride (82) is well known and respected in the Cooley community.
However, Ms McBride declined to focus on the threat to her life by Crevan Mackin when she spoke to the Sunday World. She praised the actions of Garda Golden, who laid his life on the line to save Siobhan.
"He was a great young man - a good family man - and everyone around here knew him," she said.
"Our family are indebted to Garda Golden for what he did for Siobhan. He died doing his duty and he's a hero," said Ms McBride.
She said that Siobhan was making steady improvement in hospital. However, according to family sources, the young woman is likely to lose an eye from the blast.
The hairdresser was shot in the forehead and once in each arm with a 9mm Glock pistol.
Meanwhile, her family issued a statement saying they were praying for Siobhan's recovery, and for the family of Garda Golden.
Garda Golden, who was originally from Ballina in Co Mayo, was buried following a State funeral last Thursday, with mourners led by his wife, Nicola, their three children and his family.
Last night hundreds of people gathered at St Muredach's Cathedral in Ballina to say a special farewell to one of their own.
Bishop John Fleming offered the Golden family the sympathy of everyone in the area, adding: "Tony's murder stunned our nation and devastated your family."
Readings were said by Tony's sister Mary and brother Sean, who read: "The time has come for me to depart. I've fought the good fight to the end, I've run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith."
Last night his love of Mayo and his family was visible from the mementos on the altar - a GAA jersey and family photos took pride of place alongside his garda hat to mark the job he had loved.
Bishop Fleming said Tony had "paid the ultimate price" for being a guardian of the peace.
"Without thought for his own safety he protected two vulnerable lives on Sunday last and protected them from death at the hands of a murderer," he added.