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Detectives continue to quiz suspect in murder of Conor O’Brien – after tests establish gun ‘was weapon used in killing’


Detectives are continuing to quiz a suspect in the murder of Conor O’Brien after establishing that a gun seized was the weapon used in the teen’s killing.

Dublin criminal who was one of the last people to come into contact with murdered teenager Conor O’Brien has been arrested armed with a firearm in a hotel.

Gardaí had already taken a statement from the 50-year-old after it emerged that he interacted with Conor O’Brien (19) just hours before he was shot dead last week.

Independent.ie can reveal that the criminal was detained last night after gardaí were called to an incident at a hotel in Graiguecullen, near Carlow town.

It’s understood that at around 10pm the man produced a firearm inside the premises following an argument before local gardaí were alerted and rushed to the scene.

He was subsequently arrested and the firearm was recovered.

Following inquiries, it emerged that the individual was the Dublin criminal that gardaí had previously spoken to about the murder of Mr O’Brien and detectives at Trim were notified.

The man, originally from south Dublin, remains in garda custody for firearms offences and can be held for up to three days.

The weapon was sent off for ballistic analysis and established that it is the weapon used in the murder of Mr O’Brien.

A source said that the man remains in custody for firearms offences but is now also being quizzed over the teen’s murder.

“Enough evidence has been gathered to question this suspect about this murder,” a source said.

The man is well-known to gardaí and has previously been investigated over a gun murder in 2006 as well as a major robbery.

He has also served prison terms in the UK and Ireland, including a lengthy sentence for an attack on a State body.

It comes as the private funeral service of Mr O’Brien took place yesterday morning followed by a cremation.

The teenager had no involvement in criminality and no motive for his murder has been established.

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

He had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest the previous night but no firearm was recovered at the scene.

Gardaí believe he was shot dead the previous evening.

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 as a blacksmith.

Mr Christie said Mr O’Brien initially approached him around a year ago to take part in some classes after watching the History Channel’s Forged in Fire programme 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 Irish Independent.

“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 next month.

“He was thinking ahead,” he said.

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