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Father tells of last words to daughter before Omeath gun attack

Siobhan Phillips is fighting for her life in a Dublin hospital

THE heartbroken father of shooting victim Siobhan Phillips has spoken out to praise the brave Garda who gave his life trying to save her.

Newry man Sean Phillips, who told on Wednesday of the minutes leading up to the shooting, said his daughter was still “fighting for her life” at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital.

Recalling the terrifying events that led to Siobhan suffering life-threatening brain injuries and the murder of Garda Tony Golden, Mr Phillips recalled how he had tried to reassure the young mother that she was safe at last from her violent ex-boyfriend Adrian Crevan Mackin.

As Siobhan prepared to enter the Co Louth home she had shared with her partner of six years and their two small children, Mr Phillips had told her: “He can’t hurt you anymore.”

Siobhan had finally ended her relationships with the suspected dissident republican after he had beaten and threatened her on Friday night their Omeath home.

She went to work as normal on Saturday morning in a salon in Newry but the PSNI was notified of the attack by worried nursing staff after she attended Daisy Hill Hospital that night.

The following day Mr Phillips accompanied his daughter to Omeath Garda Station where she made a complaint against her ex-partner, who had repeatedly beaten her throughout their relationship.

Leaving her children in the care of relatives, Siobhan had been accompanied by her father and Garda Golden to the house to collect personal belongings on Sunday evening.

The Garda advised Mr Phillips to remain in the car in an effort to avoid a possible confrontation with Mackin.

However, within minutes the father heard the sound of several gunshots from within the house.

Armed with a Glock handgun, Mackin had shot the young mother at least four times, critically injuring her, before fatally wounding Garda Golden. He then turned the gun on himself.

A horrified Mr Phillips alerted the emergency services.

The grieving father and his wife Norma yesterday said issued a statement paying a moving tribute to the dead Garda and expressing condolences to his family and colleagues in An Garda Síochána.

“Garda Golden, in the service and protection of others, laid down his life for my daughter Siobhan, myself and my family. There are no words to express our gratitude for his bravery, we are forever in his debt,” Mr Phillips said.

“Our beautiful daughter Siobhan, a loving mother, sister and friend, is fighting for her life. For now, we pray for Siobhan's recovery and for the family of Garda Golden as they face their immeasurable grief,” he added.

Garda Golden reposed at the Blackrock home he shared with his wife Nicola and three young children on Wednesday.

He will be taken to the local St Oliver Plunkett Church for a state funeral on Thursday.

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