Man shot during altercation on farmland in Co Dublin dies in hospital

Suspect must be charged with an offence or released without charge by Friday afternoon

A man being questioned about the fatal shooting of Dubliner Keith Conlon must be charged with a criminal offence or released without charge by Friday afternoon.

The 36-year-old, also known as Keith Greene, died on Thursday at Tallaght University Hospital. He had been in a critical condition since he was shot on farmlands off the Blessington Road near Tallaght at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Medics attempted to save his life but his survival prospects were regarded as low and family members and friends had posted tributes and messages of condolence on social media in recent days.

Mr Conlon was from Kiltalown in Tallaght and had a partner and a number of children, with a daughter born just last month.

The exact events that led to the shooting were still being investigated by detectives from Tallaght on Thursday night. However, gardaí believe Mr Conlon and other men were with their dogs on farmland at Hazel Grove when they happened across another man on the lands and an altercation ensued.

It appears a number of warning shots were discharged from a legally held handgun, wounding one of the dogs. Mr Conlon was then wounded and the emergency services were called. Paramedics and gardaí came to the scene and Mr Conlon, who sustained a head injury, was treated in the field before being taken to hospital.

In a statement on Thursday evening, An Garda Síochána confirmed that Mr Conlon had died. "Arrangements will now be made for a post-mortem examination to be carried out by the State pathologist."

Legally-held handgun

Gardaí arrested a man in his 50s at the scene of the shooting on Tuesday and recovered a legally-held handgun. The man has since been detained under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Tallaght station.

One line of inquiry is that the dispute that initially began related to Mr Conlon and those he was with being on privately owned lands with their dogs. However, it was not clear how that escalated into an incident in which shots were fired and Mr Conlon wounded.

A full examination of the field where the shots were fired has been carried out and the gun has been sent for ballistics testing.

Gardaí were on Thursday granted permission by a judge to extend the suspect’s period of detention for a third, and final, 24-hour period.

That detention was due to expire on Friday at lunchtime, meaning the suspect must be charged with an offence or released without charge.

A number of other people who were in the area close to the shooting when it occurred on Tuesday have also been spoken to by gardaí, with witness statements taken as part of the ongoing investigation.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times