Wednesday 22 November 2017

Gardai launch murder hunt to find Galway teacher’s killer

John Kenny
John Kenny
John Kenny’s wife Kathleen and other family members gather as Mr Kenny’s body is removed from the bar in Oughterard
State pathologist Marie Cassidy at the scene

Brian McDonald

GARDAI have launched a murder investigation into the death of popular Galway teacher John Kenny, whose body was found at his family pub.

A post-mortem examination which finished late last night confirmed that Mr Kenny (56) had died as a result of an assault and gardai believe that he knew his attacker.

They have refused to say what the cause of death was, but it is known that he was found by his daughter Gillian with his hands tied lying on the floor in the Oughterard pub.

It is thought likely that he died in the early hours of Sunday morning as a result of a botched robbery.

Mr Kenny was last seen alive in the pub on Main Street in Oughterard, Co Galway, on Saturday night. The pub only opened on Saturday nights at this time of year and Mr Kenny lived overhead.

His daughter Gillian became concerned about him on Sunday and went to the pub in the late afternoon. She found his body on the floor of a locked room close to the toilets at about tea-time.

His hands were tied behind his back and a jacket was draped across his head. A chair had been placed against the outside of the door leading to the room where he was found.


Gardai refused to say if anything had been taken from the pub, but confirmed that there were no immediate signs of a forced entry. Supt Noel Kelly appealed to anybody who was in the pub on Saturday night to come forward.

"All avenues of enquiry are being looked at and we are looking for anybody who was in the vicinity or on the premises on Saturday night/Sunday morning to contact us at Oughterard garda station on 091-557320," Supt Kelly said.

There were distressing scenes outside the pub at lunchtime yesterday as gardai assisted in removing Mr Kenny's body from the pub to a waiting hearse.

His wife Kathleen and daughter Gillian arrived at the premises, accompanied by his two brothers -- Jim, a garda, and Aidan -- along with other family members.

Local parish priest Fr Jim Walsh embraced Mrs Kenny and comforted Gillian as the coffin was lifted to the hearse.

In a very brief comment, Aidan Kenny said: "It's awful, the family is completely shocked".

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy had earlier conducted a preliminary examination of Mr Kenny's body at the scene and carried out a full post- mortem examination last night at Galway University Hospital.

Mr Kenny was a teacher of German, history and religion at Presentation College, Athenry. His red Toyota Avensis was parked outside the pub since the weekend, with school textbooks and teaching notes on the back seat.

His daughter Gillian is also a teacher at the school and in a statement yesterday, Presentation College said it was with deep regret that the school community had learnt of his untimely death. "Our thoughts lie with his family, especially his wife Kathleen and his daughter Gillian, who is also a colleague of ours in the school.

"John was a valued member of the teaching staff of Presentation College, Athenry, for the past 19 years. He was held in high esteem by staff, students and parents alike.

"The whole school community is deeply shocked and saddened at this time.

"We mourn the loss of a colleague and friend. The school is putting in place preparations to meet the pastoral care needs of the school community.

"We would ask that the privacy of the family be respected at this traumatic time," the statement said.

Irish Independent

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