Brother of Sligo man shot dead in Australia says family are devastated over loss
Mr Conlon (30s) who had built a successful business in Australia, was shot dead following an incident at his home
The grieving family of popular Sligo man Damien Conlon (38), who was killed in Australia last week, are finding it hard to come to terms with his devastating loss.
His brother, John, has paid him a heartfelt tribute.
“I love him, and I miss him, and he was our family’s best friend,” he told The Sligo Champion.
Like the rest of his family of father, Dermot, mother, Ethel, brother Philip and sister Leanna who are from Summerhill Village, John is finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that his younger brother who was “a mighty man for the craic” will no longer be coming through the door.
Damian’s family are determined to bring their much-loved son back to Sligo as soon as possible.
“We have heard nothing yet and are waiting on a phone call tomorrow, but we will be bringing him home to Sligo for sure.
“He is coming home 100 per cent”.
Mr Conlon, who was in his thirties and had built a successful business in Australia, was shot dead following an incident at his home in a rural New South Wales village on the morning of February 9th.
Mr Conlon, who was a carpenter by trade, was originally from Summerhill in Sligo and ran an excavating company and had lived in the area for several years.
The father-of-two moved from Sligo to Australia to start a new life during the recession and had received his Australian citizenship in 2021.
Luke Simon (57), who is understood to be the deceased man’s father-in-law, was charged with Mr Conlon’s murder last Thursday at his home in the village of Oberton.
He appeared in court in the nearby town of Bathurst last week and was remanded in custody for seven weeks.
The court heard there were health concerns about the accused’s condition, but he was refused bail and is due back in court on April 5.
Mr Conlon’s brother John told The Sligo Champion the devastated family are trying to come to terms with the loss of their beloved son and brother.
“It was a terrible shock to all our family, and it really didn’t hit me until about two days after.
“And the fact that he was so far away makes it even harder to deal with”.
But John, who is the oldest, recalled some really happy days with Damien.
“He was a real character and was great at winding people in a good-natured way.
“From a very young age, he was very interested in carpentry, and he started out when he was sixteen and he was also into cars as well.
“Like myself he was very much into cars especially old sports cars.
“He left to go to Australia in 2011 and that was a big wrench for the family as we are all very close.
“But he was determined to go to Australia as that was his dream.
“Damien and I went out the back of Benbulben Mountain at the Horsehoe and we sat down for a few hours, and he told me that he was going out to Australia to make a life for himself out there.
“Damien had a dream and he followed it, and we are all proud of how he made it come true”.
John continued; “But he did come back on holidays twice and we had a great time with him, and he was always good with people and that is why he was so successful out there.
“He was really into old cars, and he told me that he always wanted a Honda Civic B Tech car, and he still has a load of stuff up here in the loft of the house in Sligo.
“On the second time, he only came home for a week, but we laughed, slagged and joked and had a great time and those memories are really precious to us now.
“I did not go out to see him and the last time he was home in Sligo was four years ago.
“His best friends were Paul Gillespie, Tervlin McDermott and Shane McNasser and they were all very close.
“And he was very proud of his two children in Australia, Mason (2) and Elias (10 months).
“But he rang our mum Ethel every day and was very close to our parents.”
John added; “Damien had his own company in Australia called Down Under and he also employed people.”
Mr Conlon came from a well-respected family in Sligo and his death has shocked the entire town.
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