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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Man held over shooting of hunting enthusiast

Hunting enthusiast Diarmuid Byrne, who died from a gunshot wound in his home
Hunting enthusiast Diarmuid Byrne, who died from a gunshot wound in his home
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A middle-aged man was arrested for questioning in relation to the circumstances in which a keen hunter sustained a fatal gunshot wound.

Diarmuid Byrne (41) died in his Cork home on April 26 last from a single discharge from a pump-action shotgun.

Mr Byrne, a keen hunter and outdoor sports enthusiast, died at the scene on Plunkett Road, Ballyphehane, from catastrophic injuries to his head, neck and upper torso.

The shotgun was apparently discharged from very close range in an upstairs room of the property.

The single-barrel shotgun was legally held and was reloaded by a pump-action mechanism.

One theory initially examined by detectives is that the weapon was accidentally discharged as it was being examined by Mr Byrne at his home on Plunkett Road in preparation for a hunting trip.

Gardaí stressed that the nature of their investigation would be determined only when all forensic and ballistic results were available.

A full post-mortem examination was also conducted by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

While gardaí declined to comment on the results of the post mortem examination, it is understood to have confirmed that Mr Byrne died from a gunshot injury sustained at close range.

A 44-year-old man was arrested in east Cork yesterday morning and taken to Togher Garda Station for questioning.

He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be questioned for a period of up to 24 hours.

Gardaí must then either release or charge the man.

It is understood the arrest was undertaken on foot of gardaí wanting to clarify specific elements of the circumstances surrounding Mr Byrne's death.

It is expected that a file will be prepared on the matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Byrne, nicknamed 'Byrnsie', was originally from Waterford but had been living in Ballyphehane over recent years.

He was known in the tight-knit community as a hunting enthusiast who was also a devoted dog owner.

Locals described him as "a lovely fella" who always had a smile and a kind word for neighbours.

Mr Byrne, who is understood to have served with the Defence Forces, was very experienced with firearms.

The deceased, who was single, worked over recent years with a Cork building supply firm.

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