Sunday 17 February 2019

Man (24) found guilty of manslaughter of publican who was left to die on bathroom floor

Marian Lingurar Jr (24) was found guilty of the manslaughter of Co Galway publican John Kenny in 2011 as well as a second charge of trespass Photograph: Hany Marzouk
Marian Lingurar Jr (24) was found guilty of the manslaughter of Co Galway publican John Kenny in 2011 as well as a second charge of trespass Photograph: Hany Marzouk
Family: John Kenny’s wife Kathleen and daughter Gillian at court in Galway. Photo: Hany Marzouk

Ann Healy

A 24-year-old man was found guilty this morning of the manslaughter of an Oughterard publican seven years ago, following a three-week trial in Galway.

Jurors took just two hours and 22 minutes to find Marian Lingurar Jr (24), with an address in Loughgeorge, Claregalway, guilty of the manslaughter of Oughterard publican and teacher, John Kenny (56), who was found badly beaten, tied up and left to die alone on the floor of the Ladies toilet in his pub on September 25, 2011.

Jurors also unanimously found him guilty of a second charge of trespassing at Mr Kenny’s pub the same night with intent to commit theft.

He had absconded from the jurisdiction in 2011, but was arrested in Cork last May and brought before Galway Circuit Criminal Court where he was remanded in custody, pending his trial this month.

Publican John Kenny was found dead at his Bar, Main Street, Oughterard, on 25 September, 2011.
Publican John Kenny was found dead at his Bar, Main Street, Oughterard, on 25 September, 2011.

Sentencing in the case has been adjourned to May 8, for the preparation of victim impact reports from Mr Kenny’s family, as well as a probation report and prison governor’s report regarding the accused.

Mr Kenny’s daughter, Gillian, and his wife, Kathleen cried with relief as the unanimous guilty verdicts were read out. They were comforted by Mr Kenny’s brother, Garda Jim Kenny and other family members.

Galway and Connemara-based gardaí - some of whom have since retired - and who worked tirelessly since 2011, to bring the accused to justice, shook hands warmly with each other and with the family.

Lingurar Jr was led away in custody by prison officers followed by two female family members.

During the trial, he had denied any involvement in the assault and robbery of a relatively small amount cash from Mr Kenny’s pocket, by a gang of men who arrived at the pub that night.

He claimed John Kenny was his friend and he liked him because he had given him a job as a bouncer.  He said he was sad to hear he had been killed. 

He told Gardaí he did not know those involved and claimed he was at home in bed when others went to Oughterard, viciously assaulted Mr Kenny, robbed a ‘wad’ of notes from his pocket, tied his hands behind his back using fairy lights from the bar, and left him lying, face down on the toilet floor to die. 

Mr Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, told the jury on the first day of the trial on January 15 that Mr Kenny had been left the family pub by his late mother and following an amicable separation from his wife, Kathleen, in the 1990s he moved in there to live.

The couple remained very good friends down through the years and were devoted to their daughter, Gillian.

He said Mr Kenny was held in very high regard at Presentation College, Athenry, where he had taught for many years and he only opened Kenny's pub at weekends.

The pub attracted a young clientele and Mr Kenny enjoyed a drink himself.

He said the accused, who was aged 16 back in 2011, had worked as a bouncer in the pub the night Mr Kenny died.

Mr Gageby said it was the prosecution’s case that the accused, having gained Mr Kenny’s trust plotted with others to rob Kenny’s pub after it closed on the night of September 25.

Mr Gageby said it was the State’s case the accused travelled back to Oughterard in the early hours of the morning to visit an assault on Mr Kenny and rob him.

He told jurors it was a ‘joint enterprise’ as other people were involved in the attack as well as the accused.

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