An inquest in Co Mayo has heard how a man shot and killed his friend, after mistaking him for an intruder at his home.

Brendan Kilduff, 67, was fatally injured during a late night visit to the home of his neighbour, Martin Caulfield, in September 2019.

Mr Caulfield fired two shots through the door of his house, near Aghamore, Ballyhaunis, shortly before midnight on the night in question.

Minutes later, the 85-year-old phoned gardaí and told them he had discharged his shotgun, as he thought the driver of a car outside was trying to get into his home.

Mr Caulfield told the officer taking the call that he was not sure if he had hit anybody.

Emergency services rushed to the scene after the alarm was raised.

They found a body in the driver’s seat of a vehicle at the scene, which was slouched towards the passenger side.

The inquest into Mr Kilduff’s death opened today in Castlebar.

It heard that detectives sent a full and comprehensive file on the matter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who had determined there be no prosecution.

Mr Caulfield is unwell and medically unfit to attend the hearing.

A nephew of the deceased, Adrian Gildea, told the inquest his uncle, a mechanic by trade, was overly helpful and would never refuse anybody when asked a favour.

He spoke of him having a massive phobia about security, saying he would would leave his lights and his radio on at night.

Mr Gildea said that since the incident he had found out that his uncle and Martin Caulfield had been good friends.

The hearing has been adjourned to tomorrow.