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fight for life Gun victim Keith Conlon was shot several times in farmyard row

A well-known legal professional is currently being questioned following the incident

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Keith Conlon from Tallaght was shot at least three times

Keith Conlon from Tallaght was shot at least three times

Keith Conlon from Tallaght was shot at least three times

A father-of-four was being kept alive on a life-support machine last night, after being shot multiple times in a farmland row over a dog.

Keith Conlon (36), also known as Keith Greene, from Kiltalown Park, Tallaght, remains in a critical condition at Tallaght University Hospital after suffering catastrophic head injuries in the shooting.

A well-known legal professional, the only suspect in the case, remains in custody at Tallaght garda station, where he is being questioned under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939.

Mr Conlon was shot at least three times, once in the head, in the incident, which happened in a field in the Hazel Grove area of rural Tallaght.

It is understood the main issue which investigators are probing is whether the legal professional acted in self-defence when he allegedly shot Mr Conlon in the head and upper body, after allegedly shooting dead his lurcher dog.

At least five people were present when the shooting happened and gardaí have taken statements from a number of witnesses.

The Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 may be considered in this case. It allows homeowners to use reasonable force to defend themselves against intruders.

In a recent unconnected court case, a judge told a jury it shall not be an offence for a person who is in his dwelling, or for a person who is a lawful occupant in a dwelling, to use force against another where, he believes the other person has entered the dwelling as a trespasser for the purpose of committing a criminal act.

The judge said the force used may be only such as is reasonable in the circumstances, which they believe is required to protect themselves from injury, to protect their property from destruction, or to prevent the commission of a crime.

The 2011 Act defines ‘curtilage’, in relation to a dwelling, as an area immediately surrounding or adjacent to the dwelling which is used in conjunction with the dwelling, other than any part of that area which is a public place.

A legal source said the suspect may be able to use this as a defence, “if he shows the area where the shooting took place is immediately adjacent to the dwelling and is used in connection with the dwelling, and if he shows that he believed the victim was trespassing for the purpose of committing a criminal act, and force was necessary to protect himself or another from injury, or his property, or to prevent a crime.”

Among the many tributes to Mr Conlon posted online was one from a woman who said: “Still can’t believe this has happened” as she expressed her sympathy to his heartbroken partner and children.

According to a well-placed source, officers are working on the theory that Mr Conlon, along with two other men, were in fields in the Hazel Grove area of rural Tallaght when “an issue arose over a dog running free”.

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The dog was allegedly shot dead by the legal professional. Officers recovered the body of the animal on Tuesday.

Gardaí are working on the theory that “a follow-up interaction” that happened after an altercation between the legal professional and Mr Conlon resulted in Mr Conlon being shot in the head and in the upper body.

A legally held handgun was used and this weapon has been recovered by gardaí.

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