herald

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Tributes after the shock death of Regency murder detective

Det Supt Colm Fox
Det Supt Colm Fox

Tributes have been paid to one of the country's most experienced criminal investigators, who was found dead at a Dublin garda station over the weekend.

Det Supt Colm Fox, who was the lead detective overseeing the Regency Hotel murder investigation, died in Ballymun Garda Station on Saturday night.

Gardai and the Garda Ombudsman (GSOC) have launched separate investigations, and his death is being treated as a personal tragedy.

The senior detective's official firearm was recovered at the scene.

Colleagues of the veteran officer have paid their respects, describing him as a "fully committed" investigator who was involved in some of the country's most high-profile murder inquiries.

These included the investigation into the murder of teenager Daniel McAnespie in 2010.

Daniel, who was in the care of the State at the time, was discovered in a drain in Rathfeigh, Co Meath, three months after being reported missing.

Det Supt Fox, who was then a detective inspector, led the investigation, which last year saw two men convicted in relation to Daniel's death.

Richard Dekker (31) was found guilty of Daniel's murder, while Trevor Noone (29) pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Innocent

Det Supt Fox had been leading the investigation into David Byrne's murder at the Regency Hotel in February 2016, and the inquiry into the murder of two innocent people in Ballymun last year.

Mother-of-six Antoinette Corbally (48) and locksmith Clinton Shannon (30) were gunned down last August 16 on Balbutcher Drive.

Det Supt Fox spent the majority of his career in the Dublin region, but also served as a superintendent in Swinford, Co Mayo, and in several garda national units.

Supt Denis Ferry, the general secretary of the Association of Garda Superintendents, described Det Supt Fox as a "very capable" police officer and said the organisation was "shocked" by the news of his death.

"Our sympathies firstly go to Colm's wife, family and friends and the colleagues who have worked with him over the years," he said.

"He was a fully committed garda who worked in a number of stations in the Dublin Metropolitan Region, as well as the headquarters, and he was at the forefront of a number of high-profile cases.

Devastated

"We are absolutely shocked and devastated at his death. He was also very active with the association and will be greatly missed."

Fianna Fail councillor Daithi De Roiste, who is chair of the Joint Policing Committee, said: "This is a tragic loss. As chair of the JPC, my thoughts and prayers go out to the officer's family and friends and his colleagues at this time."

A garda spokeswoman said: "We are investigating the sudden death of a member at Bally- mun Garda Station at 9pm on Saturday evening.

"The Garda Ombudsman has also been informed. Foul play is not suspected."

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