Diarmud Phelan.

A barrister has been charged with murder over the fatal shooting of a dog breeder.

Diarmuid Phelan, who is also a law lecturer and fellow of Trinity College in Dublin, was arrested at a farm to the south of the city last Tuesday.

Police said Keith Conlon was hunting rabbits when he encountered Phelan, who is reported to have raised concerns about trespassers with police in recent weeks.

It is not known whether Conlon was on Phelan's land when he was shot, but police believe an argument between the two men about "a dog running free" culminated in the animal being shot. 

Detectives said they believed a "follow up interaction" between Phelan and Conlon resulted in Conlon being shot in the head.

The 53-year-old appeared in court charged with the murder of the father-of-four this week, and made no reply when the charge was put to him, only remarking, "Thank you judge" at the end of the hearing. 

Phelan was "the last person you would expect to be involved in something like this", a source told the Irish Sun. "This is a very peculiar incident that led to very tragic circumstances".

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