‘He was a good lad’ – Teenager shot dead in Meath had been due to start blacksmith course
August 30 2021 02:30 AM
A teenager who was shot dead in Meath was due to begin a year-long blacksmith course next week.
Conor O’Brien (19) was discovered with a fatal gunshot wound to his chest at the property where he was living on the Trim Road, Enfield, on Friday morning.
Detectives believe he was killed the previous night and have launched a murder investigation.
No motive has yet been established into the teenager’s killing. He was not known to gardaí and detectives are attempting to establish the circumstances surrounding his death.
Mr O’Brien had been due to start in a 12-month blacksmith course next week in Limerick.
He had also recently taken part in training in the trade in his local town of Gorey, Co Wexford.
Finín Liam Christie, a blacksmith from Gorey, described him as an ambitious young man who dreamed of travelling the world as a blacksmith.
Mr Christie said Conor 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. ADVERTISEMENT
“He thought that appealed to him so he booked a class and he loved it,” Mr Christie told the Irish Independent.
Conor had only spent three days working with Finín last week before his death.
Mr Christie said he and other locals still can’t believe the news.
“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 Conor 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.
Mr Christie described Conor as a quiet and reserved young man but who was cheerful and friendly.
“He was very quiet and private and he wouldn’t tell you too much,” he said.
“But he was a good lad. He listened, he was hardworking and he wanted to learn,” Mr Christie told the Irish Independent.
Local gardaí are being assisted in the inquiry by members of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI) based at Harcourt Square in Dublin. As part of the inquiry, detectives will examine Mr O’Brien’s devices to determine whether he had been subject to any threats.
CCTV from the surrounding area will also be checked to determine who was in the area at the time.
Mr O’Brien’s body was found at the rear of the property where he was living, and he had been killed by a single gunshot, but no weapon was found.
Neighbours said they had heard a bang on Thursday night but had not attached any importance to it.
Another neighbour said the thoughts of everyone in the area were with Mr O’Brien’s family.
“God help the poor people and whoever belongs to him,” she said.
“It’s just unbelievable… why would anyone do that to a 19-year-old.
“He’s just a child. Way too young for someone to do that to him.
“May God forgive them, whoever done it, but I hope the guards get them,” the neighbour said.