Sligo man shot dead in Australia suffered catastrophic head injuries as man charged with murder

Tributes paid to Sligo expat named as Damien Conlon, who was in his 30s, 57-year-old suspect to appear in court

Damien Conlon received his Australian citizenship in 2021

New South Wales police are investigating the fatal shooting. Photo: James D Morgan/Getty Images© Getty Images


An Irishman shot dead following an incident in a rural Australian town has been named locally as Damien Conlon from Sligo town.

Police said initial inquiries suggest Mr Conlon, who was in his early 30s, was shot by a man known to him during a row and suffered catastrophic head injuries.

New South Wales police said a man arrested over the killing would appear in court on Friday.

"A 57-year-old man was arrested at the house and taken to Bathurst Police Station to assist with inquiries,” they said in a statement.

"Following inquiries, the 57-year-old man was charged with murder and refused bail to appear in Bathurst Local Court.

"Initial inquiries suggest the two men were known to each other.”

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is providing consular assistance in relation to the tragedy in New South Wales.

Mr Conlon grew up in the Fort Hill area of Sligo and came from a close-knit and highly regarded family who live in Strandhill.

He had worked in construction since he moved to Australia 12 years ago. It is understood he became an Australian citizen in 2021.

Mr Conlon is believed to have married an Australian woman and they lived together in Bathurst, an area near where he was killed.

The shooting happened in Oberon, a small town about 180km west of Sydney in the Central Tablelands region.

New South Wales police are investigating the fatal shooting. Photo: James D Morgan/Getty Images© Getty Images

Local police from the Chiffley district questioned a man who was known to the victim. It is understood a row broke out between Mr Conlon and the suspect.

Fine Gael councillor Sinéad Maguire described Mr Conlon’s death as a “huge tragedy”.

“When somebody dies in such traumatic circumstances so far from home, it is particularly difficult for their family,” she said.

“It’s very hard to come to terms with such a loss. I am sure the family will have the support of everyone in Sligo during this very difficult time.”

Last night, friends of Mr Conlon posted tributes on social media.

He was remembered as “a character” and “a lovely fella” and the “life and soul of the party”.

One friend wrote: “We will never forget you, you will always hold a special place in our hearts. Thank you for all the great laughs and memories.”

Police in New South Wales said officers were summoned to Jenolan Street in Oberon just after 8am (9pm Irish time on Wednesday) and found a man who had suffered a gunshot wound.

In a statement, they said Mr Conlon was treated at the scene by paramedics but was pronounced dead a short time later.

A 57-year-old suspect known to him was arrested as part of the inquiry.

Police also said they had recovered a firearm believed to have been used in the incident.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was “aware of the case and is providing consular assistance”.

“As with all consular cases, the department does not comment on the detail of individual cases,” it added.

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