Carthy, 27, was well-known in the area around Abbeylara to suffer from depression. He was picked on by the local police, who wrongly suspected him of destroying a sports mascot outside a pub.
His old family home was decrepit. The local council had built a new one for the family a very short distance away, but he was emotional about the old place and created a scene by refusing to budge. There was a big family row, with Carthy loading his legally-held shotgun and shooting at bits of furniture. Naturally, this frightened his mother, who fled immediately to the new house.
Instead of letting him cool off for a few days, then perhaps getting the local unarmed sergeant and the parish priest to drop around to him, the Garda treated the matter as if Carthy were a vicious, psychopathic killer like the ones they had no doubt seen on television.
Gardai from other counties arrived to “help” surround the house. The heavily-armed anti-terrorist squad, the Emergency Response Unit, raced to the scene from Dublin to bring their expertise to bear on this domestic dispute.
Carthy, a 40-smokes-a-day man, asked for cigarettes and a lawyer. The gardai refused. After 25 hours, he emerged from the house and shot in the direction of one of the dozens of gardai at the scene.
They had no tranquilizer darts, no smokescreens, no sharpshooters and no proper cover, so they shot Carthy dead.
This was a day of shame for the Garda, and its events should never, ever be repeated.