Man (60s) arrested on suspicion of murder after widower (83) fatally shot in Kerry

Body of Patrick O’Mahony snr, a well known dealer of sporting firearms and accessories, was discovered on Sunday morning in his home in Castlemaine

Gardaí believe a pensioner shot dead in his own home in rural Co Kerry at the weekend was shot by a person known to him who he had invited into his home.

A man in his 60s was arrested on suspicion of murder and was being questioned on Monday about the killing of Patrick O’Mahony snr.

The 83-year-old was well known as a dealer of sporting firearms and accessories, though none of his guns were understood to be missing from his property when checked by gardaí.

Mr O’Mahony’s remains were found on Sunday morning inside his home in the Castlemaine area.


It is understood a man who had come to the area to use a local firing range called to see Mr O’Mahony, who was widowed last November, and made the discovery.

The dead man had been shot in the chest and gardaí initially suspected it may have been a self-inflicted wound, perhaps due to an accidental discharge. However, the investigation team soon began treating his death as a homicide.

Mr O’Mahony was an experienced and trusted gun dealer, though had gradually wound down those activities. However, he retained a number of firearms, despite gardaí previously expressing their concern about the guns.

In 2010, when Mr O’Mahony was seeking to retain his guns, gardaí had expressed concern that the calibre of the guns might put their owner at risk of being targeted by crime gangs.

The court involved heard Mr O’Mahony snr was the owner of a .22 Colt Pistol, a .45 Colt Revolver, a .45 Colt 1911 Gold Cup Pistol and a 762 Mauser Pistol, dating back to 1876.

Mr O’Mahony snr told the court he had built a shooting range with restricted access. He also said he had put security measures in place for the guns, including an underground concrete bunker. He was allowed by the court to keep the guns.

The man in his 60s now under arrest was being held at a Kerry Garda station under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007. The legislation allows for the detention of a suspect for up to seven days without charge.

“Gardaí were called to a residence in the Castlemaine area on Sunday, where the body of a man in his 80s was discovered,” a Garda statement said. “He was pronounced deceased at the scene and removed to the mortuary at University Hospital Kerry.”

A postmortem on the remains of Mr O’Mahony was scheduled at the mortuary in University Hospital Kerry on Monday afternoon. It was carried out by State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

A Garda cordon was erected around the house where Mr O’Mahony’s remains were found and the house was undergoing a forensic examination as part of a major Garda investigation under way into the death.

Mr O’Mahony lived alone about three miles from the village of Castlemaine on the Tralee side. He was seen socialising on Saturday with another man, which is currently the last confirmed sighting of him alive.

Mr O’Mahony, a father of five and grandfather of four, was heavily involved in An Riocht Gun Club. His wife, Lillie, had died last November.

Fr Danny Broderick, moderator of Castlemaine parish, said neighbours and friends would be supporting the family.

“Castlmaine was always a lovely parish. It stretches all the way from Ballyfinnane to Keel. There are some great neighbours and friends there. A good decent community,” he said.

People would be very upset, “but there’s no doubt the community will be supporting the family”, the priest told Radio Kerry.

  • See our new project Common Ground, Evolving Islands: Ireland & Britain
  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here
Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times