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Family say teacher knew his murderer

THE family of murdered teacher John Kenny believes he knew his killer.

Gardai were today attempting to track down everybody who drank in Mr Kenny's Galway pub over the weekend.

His brother Aidan said: "There were people in the pub that we wouldn't personally have approved of."

Detectives have upgraded the case to a full-scale murder inquiry after a post-mortem showed that the popular secondary school teacher suffered a savage assault.

He was found by his daughter Gillian on Sunday evening with his hands tied behind his back and his head covered.

Aidan Kenny said that his family has been "devastated" by the killing at the pub which John ran in the Galway town of Oughterard.

A scene investigation revealed no signs of forced entry and officers are now investigating whether Mr Kenny knew his attacker.

His brother has appealed for anyone who was in the pub on Saturday night "when it closed unusually early" to come forward.

"This is so tragic. I just don't know why anyone in their right mind would want to hurt John.

"But the person who did this will be got and I would appeal to anyone who was in the pub on Saturday night who may have taken pictures or seen anything suspicious to go to the gardai," said Mr Kenny.

Aidan said that the John was his "soulmate" and would be missed.

Officers from the National Bureau of Investigations will today join local gardai. No arrests have yet been made.

The body of the teacher was found by his daughter Gillian in his family pub which he opened at weekends.

She had become concerned for her father when she hadn't heard from him.

Officers carried out door to door enquiries in Oughterard yesterday and took statements from people who were in Kenny's bar on Saturday night.

Up to 40 people were believed to have been in the pub that night and gardai now wish to interview all of them.

Stunned locals paid tribute to Mr Kenny, a well-liked man held in high esteem in the village.

Friends described him as an active man who would travel to Galway every morning before work to swim and use the gym.