Lawyer shoots father of four in the head as he turns to run, Supreme Court hears


A witness told gardai that a top lawyer shot an unarmed father of four in the back as he turned to flee after a melee on farmland in Tallaght last month, the Supreme Court said. high has heard.

However, in court, the senior lawyer told Gardai in an interview that he believed he was being threatened and was “deeply terrified”.

The Supreme Court heard Tuesday alleging that senior counsel and law lecturer Diarmuid Rossa Phelan first “deliberately shot” Keith Conlon’s dog with a legally kept rifle without a gun. any forewarning.

A witness told gardai that the defendant then fired three shots from a licensed revolver after a “verbal altercation”, with the last shot hitting the back of the man’s head. disappeared after he turned to run, the court heard.

Mr Phelan, who gave evidence today via video link, told Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy it was unlikely he was trying to evade justice and said: “I have to clear my name”.

Justice Murphy is expected to make a decision on Wednesday on Mr Phelan’s bail application.

Mr Phelan (53) of Kiltalown Lane, Tallaght, Co Dublin is charged with the murder of Mr Conlon (36 years old) at Hazelgrove Farm, Kiltatown Lane, Tallaght, on 22 February.

Mr Conlon, from Kiltalown Park in Tallaght, was critically injured in the shooting and died at Tallaght University Hospital two days later.

At Tuesday’s bail hearing, Detective Garda Mick McGrath from Tallaght Garda Station told Jane McGowan BL for the State, that Mr. Gardai had opposed bail following “O’Callaghan’s principles,” where people We assume that the defendant is at risk in flight.

There is also an objection to bail under Section 2 of the Bail Act, which permits a denial of bail if the court agrees that such denial is necessary to prevent the defendant from committing a felony when released on bail.

Outlining his opposition to bail, Det Gda McGrath said it could be alleged that a group of three unarmed men were hunting with a dog at 1.10pm on February 22, as they enter the grounds at Hazelgrove Farm and encounter the landowner. It could also be alleged that Mr Phelan “deliberately shot” Mr Conlon’s dog with his licensed rifle without any warning, the detective said.

The witness said that “a verbal argument” broke out between the two men and Mr Phelan.

The court heard that Mr Phelan had two guns on him and that after the first shot was fired Mr Conlon and his friends ran away.

Mr. Conlon was taken to Tallaght Hospital and the accused remained at the scene, where he spoke to the gardai. “He admitted to himself that he shot the dead man and was then arrested by myself and taken to Tallaght Garda station, where he was held for three days,” the detective said.

The witness said Mr Phelan was interviewed several times and exercised his legal right to remain silent during the first 24 hours.

The witness said Mr Phelan told gardai in interviews that he was “stunned when a man came down”.

Det Gda McGrath said witnesses contradicted Mr. Phelan’s version of events.

When asked about ammunition in his interviews, Mr Phelan told gardai he had “birdshot bullets” in his revolver. The defendant told gardai: “You showed me rounds that I didn’t think were included, the third round must have been a bullet.”

Mr Phelan is a licensed owner of ten firearms, according to the court, and has “a lot of experience” in their use.

The officer said he had been told that “a shot could be fatal” regardless of whether the pistol contained birdshot or empty ammunition.

Det Gda McGrath alleges the time between the shooting of the dog and Mr Conlon was 2-3 minutes or “maybe less”.

The witness told Mrs. Justice Murphy that he was afraid that if Mr. Phelan was released on bail he would run away. The court said he was a senior adviser, that he worked for Trinity College, had links to Northern Ireland, mainland Europe and the United States as well as substantial assets and finances.

The witness said that due to the seriousness of the offence, he did not consider any bail conditions appropriate.

When asked by Ms. McGowan if the defendant was caught in the act, Det Gda McGrath said Mr. Phelan was arrested at the scene and hospitalized in connection with the shooting before his arrest. The defendant is said to have told the witness: “I shot him, as soon as he was injured I stopped.”

The detective said the majority of witnesses prosecuted in the case were witnesses to the shooting.

The court heard that there were five witnesses, four of which were the alleged employee and the fifth was a friend of Mr.

Regarding further violations, Det Gda McGrath said Mr Phelan has “deep experience” with firearms, that he is a member of gun clubs and a licensee of ten firearms. The witness said he feared that “something serious could happen again like this”.

The court heard that ten guns had been seized since his arrest.

Later, defense attorney Michael O’Higgins SC read the accounts provided to gardai by his client during the interview. Mr Phelan told gardai he shot the dog after seeing it alone behind bushes on his property, and that the three men, who appeared to be hiding then “exploded from the bushes”. .

Mr. O’Higgins continued: “I said what are you doing here? They said it’s not my land, to which I replied ‘this is my land’.” They started saying “they’re marrying me” and one person took a picture. Tell me what are you doing here? I was really scared. My hands are shaking. “

The account continued: “They saw me falling and screaming. I had a feeling they felt my fear. The tourists were screaming and shouting at us. Then I turned back around. bank for the purpose of clearing things up and withdrawing money I hate shooting dogs Then I saw Tourists coming towards us I shouted I called gardai they kept coming. I don’t know where the third man is. I yelled for them to back off and they kept walking. I took a few steps forward and forced myself to say more.

“Then he lunged at me again. I had a rifle on my shoulder. He looked me in the eye, saw that I was scared, and was able to catch me. They came to make threats down the valley. The man in the lead had something on the front of his camouflage jacket, it looks like something, I told the gardai that day, I was terrified.”

Mr O’Higgins concluded: “I was shocked when a man came down and I thought he was up to something.

The attorney then listed more than 20 cases where a series of complaints had been sent to the gardai involving Mr. Phelan and a Traveler’s pausing site adjacent to his land.

The detective told Mr O’Higgins that the deceased, whom he had known for more than 15 years, lived locally in Tallaght and was not a Settled Traveler. “We would agree otherwise,” the lawyer replied.

Under cross-examination by Mr O’Higgins, the witness said he wasn’t sure if his client personally phoned the gardai but agreed that he went to the house to get a first aid kit and direct the gardai to come. where Mr. Conlon is.

The witness said the defendant confessed to using a weapon.

On re-examination, the doctor told Ms. McGowan that although the defendant told him he called 999, he did not believe he had.

He said there was also a 20-second clip from a mobile phone that the deceased had taken before the deadly shooting, in which the dog could be seen lying on the ground. “The deceased person is recording the video and Mr Phelan can be seen also in the video and the deceased person is shouting at Mr Phelan ‘what did you do to my dog, I will call you’ ,” said the detective.

Wearing a white shirt and jacket, Mr Phelan, a father of four, told Mr O’Higgins via video link that he promised to appear in court. The defendant said he was an associate professor of law at Trinity College and had worked there since 1994. He also interned at the bar since 1994 and was called into the bar in 2008.

Mr. Phelan said he has been farming in Tallaght since 2015 and in Wexford since 2000. The defendant said he would be prepared to stay away from farms if released on bail.

The court heard the defendant was in possession of Irish and American passports but they were deemed to be in possession of the gardai. He agreed with the judge that he was an American citizen.

Defendant said all of his Trinity salary went to independent family care for his mother at her home.

Under cross-examination, Mr Phelan told Ms McGowan it was unlikely he was trying to escape justice, saying: “I have to give my name.”

When asked about the 22 complaints filed against the gardai, the defendant said: “There are many more calls, those complaints are just letters.”

The bail hearing will continue on Wednesday morning. Lawyer shoots father of four in the head as he turns to run, Supreme Court hears

Fry Electronics Team

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