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'Interaction' Dublin criminal was in direct contact with murdered Conor O'Brien hours before death

He is known to gardaí for involvement in serious crime and has previously served prison terms both here and in the UK.

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Conor O'Brien was found with a single gunshot wound to his chest last Friday morning

Conor O'Brien was found with a single gunshot wound to his chest last Friday morning

Conor O'Brien was found with a single gunshot wound to his chest last Friday morning

The Dublin criminal who had an interaction with murder victim Conor O'Brien (19) before he was killed had previously served a prison term for an attack on a State body.

The man has given a voluntary statement to gardaí after it emerged he was in direct contact with the teenager hours before he died.

He is known to gardaí for involvement in serious crime and has previously served prison terms both here and in the UK.

This includes a lengthy prison sentence over an attack on a State-linked body.

No arrests have yet been made as part of the murder investigation and at this stage the middle-aged criminal is formally being treated as a witness.

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Conor O'Brien

Conor O'Brien

Conor O'Brien

The murder has baffled detectives as Mr O'Brien was not known to gardaí and did not have any links to crime.

The interaction between the man and Mr O'Brien has also been described as "non-criminal" and there are not believed to be any other connections between them.

A private funeral service will be held for the teenager this morning followed by a cremation.

Gardaí in Trim are being assisted in the inquiry by members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

Gardaí have been examining the teen's electronic devices to piece together his movements on the day he died.

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A shelter covers the spot where Conor O’Brien’s
body was discovered.

A shelter covers the spot where Conor O’Brien’s body was discovered.

A shelter covers the spot where Conor O’Brien’s body was discovered.

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CCTV footage from the area has also been collected to establish what people were in the area at the time.

His body was discovered outside the property where he was staying on the Trim Road in Enfield, Co Meath, last Friday morning.

Mr O'Brien had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest the previous night but no firearm was recovered at the scene.

Next week he was due to start a 12-month blacksmith course in Limerick.

Finín Liam Christie, a blacksmith from Gorey, previously described him as an ambitious young man who dreamed of travelling the world.

Mr Christie said Mr O'Brien approached him around a year ago to take part in some classes after watching the History Channel's Forged in Fire in which top bladesmiths from around the world recreate historical weapons.

"He thought that appealed to him so he booked a class and he loved it," Mr Christie told The Herald.

"From the first time I met him, I knew he came from good stock, good people and I can't think any different of him," he said.

He said Mr O'Brien was keen to learn how to forge a hammer and tongs before he began a year-long apprenticeship in blacksmithing in Limerick this month.

"He was thinking ahead," he said.

Mr Christie described him as a quiet, reserved young man who was cheerful and friendly.

"He was very quiet and private and he wouldn't tell you too much," he said.

"But he was a good lad. He listened, he was hard-working and he wanted to learn."

Gardaí said the body was discovered at around 8.30am last Friday morning.

Neighbours previously said they heard a single loud bang the previous night but had not attached any significance to the noise until the following morning.

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