Shooting horror | 

Innocent Conor O'Brien killed by single gunshot wound in 'senseless' murder

Innocent 19-year-old found with gun blast to his chest had no connections to criminal activity

Conor O’Brien was gunned down last week

Patrick O'Connell

Innocent teenaqer Conor O'Brien died as a result of a single gunshot wound to the chest - in a killing gardaí have described as "senseless and without motive."

Gardaí believe it is likely Conor was shot, by an assailant armed with a gun, at approximately 8.30pm on Thursday - at which time neighbours later told gardaí they had heard a loud bang.

Conor's body was discovered lying in the driveway of a relative's house on the Trim Road in Enfield, almost 11 hours later, at 7am on Friday.

He had been staying in a self- contained apartment on the property for the past four months,

Gardaí believe his killer took the murder weapon with them as they fled the scene.

The 19-year-old from, Gorey Co. Wexford, was due to start an apprenticeship course in Limerick this coming week and family members were due to help him move his belongings this weekend.

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

Conor is survived by parents Ann and Ed and sister Eimear. A funeral notice on said he is "deeply regretted by his loving parents, sister, aunts, uncles, extended family, relatives, friends and neighbours".

A senior source yesterday told the Sunday World that at this early stage in the murder inquiry, officers can see "no reason in the world why someone would have wanted to murder Conor."

"He was not involved in any criminality whatsoever," a source said.

"There is no suggestion he had any associates involved in any criminality and there is nothing to suggest he was involved in any kind of a row.

"At the moment, there is no motive that gardaí are aware of …. It's senseless. Officers have spoken with his family and friends and there is nothing there.

"He wasn't running from anyone that we know of and he wasn't involved in anything he shouldn't have been that we have been able to discover."

Investigators will now forensically examine Conor's devices, including any computers and phones, to try to determine whether he had been subjected to any threats online.

CCTV cameras in Enfield will also be examined in the hope they may have captured an image of Conor's killer.

The Sunday World understands that Conor's mother and father were alerted to the tragedy by a relative living in the main house attached to Conor's apartment.

The couple were observed at the scene on Friday morning in the wake of their son's murder.

Appealing for information yesterday, Supt Liam Geraghty of the Garda Press Office confirmed gardaí have no motive for the killing.

Gardai at the scene on Trim Road, Enfield.

"Conor O'Brien was not known to the gardaí in any format whatsoever that we are aware of at this time.

"He was a quiet man who kept very much to himself and our understanding was he was due to start a new career very very shortly in the next week or so. We have no motive for this killing at this time.

Outlining the series of events surrounding the discovery of Conor's body, he said: "At approximately 8.30am yesterday, Friday,August 27, gardaí attended a domestic residence on the Trim Road, Enfield after receiving a report that the body of a male had been discovered at the rear of a residence.

"On arrival at the residence, gardaí discovered the body of Conor O'Brien.

"Gardaí sealed off the scene, which was the subject of a forensic examination by the Garda Technical Bureau yesterday. The scene remains sealed off at this time pending further forensic examination.

"The remains of Conor O'Brien were examined at the scene by the Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan before being removed to Our Lady's Hospital in Navan where a post- mortem was carried out this morning.

"Preliminary information supplied by the chief state pathologist has confirmed that Conor O'Brien sustained a single fatal gunshot injury. No firearm was recovered at the scene.

"An Garda Síochána has commenced a murder investigation."

The statement added: "A senior investigating officer has been appointed and an incident room has been established here at Trim Garda Station.

"Local gardaí are being assisted at this time by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

"Conor O'Brien was 19 years of age and originally from Gorey, Co. Wexford.

"He had been residing in Enfield for a number of months in a self-contained apartment at the rear of a main residence owned by a family relative.

"Investigations so far have determined that Conor was in contact with a family relative at approximately 8pm on August 26.

"Investigations to date have also determined that a number of persons heard a single bang [that]evening.

One neighbour told the Sunday World yesterday he had heard the bang from the gunshot but simply hadn't attached any importance to it.

"We did hear a bang, it was like a shot, at about 8.30pm on Thursday evening," he said.

"It was before it was dark because when we looked out, we saw all the birds flying from the trees.

"I said: 'What the hell was that?'

"It was just like a loud bang. We didn't think any more of it and we just sat back down and started watching the telly again."

Another neighbour said the thoughts of everyone in the area were with Conor's family.

"God help the poor people and whoever belongs to him," she said.

"It's just unbelievable … why would anyone do that to a 19-year-old. He's just a child.

"Way too young for someone to do that to him. May God forgive them, whoever done it, but I hope the guards get them."

Supt Geraghty yesterday said: "Gardaí are making the following appeal for information.

"Any person that was on the Trim Road in Enfield, the R159 at or close to its junction with Main St, Enfield between 8 pm on Thursday, August 26 and 7am on Friday, August 27, whether you believe you saw anything or not, please make contact with the investigating gardaí.

"Gardaí are also appealing to anyone who was driving or cycling in that area … who may either have vehicle dash cam footage or other video footage to again contact investigating gardaí here at Trim Garda station.

"Finally, any person who may have any information in relation to the fatal shooting of Conor O'Brien to contact investigating gardaí. The investigation team can be contacted at Trim Garda station at 0469481540, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 11 or any Garda station."

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