A parish priest told a sitting of Tuam District Court this week how he was flagged down by a man who then punched him in the eye – an attack that saw the cleric taken to hospital by a neighbour.
Father Michael Kenny, who is PP in Kilconly, admitted that there was ‘history’ between him and the Coen family who live locally.
Ciaran Coen from Chapel Road, Kilconly was convicted of the assault on the priest which occurred on May 5, 2014. He was fined €250 following a lengthy court hearing.
It was alleged that Coen told Fr Kenny to “f**k off out of the parish and f**k off back to Ballyhaunis”.
The Co Galway priest said that he took offence to this to which Judge Geoffrey Browne asked him which part he took more offence to.
Fr Kenny admitted responding to Coen that “it will take more than a tinker like you to get me back to Ballyhaunis”. He said that the defendant has a hot temper and he drew out and struck him.
Judge Geoffrey Browne said that it was obvious that there were “strange goings on” and he was convinced that something had happened on the occasion as he imposed a conviction.
He said that his Sacristan Maura Maloney took him to his doctor and then to University College Hospital in Galway as his temperature was very high. He said that his right eye was very sore and that he could not say Mass the following morning.
The priest said that he got injections into the eye and is still receiving treatment for the injury inflicted by the defendant. He said that he had been on good terms with the Coens but this was not the case in recent years.
The court was told that the priest has a sign outside the door of his home in Kilconly stating: “Due to the rising cost of ammunition, I may not be able to provide a warning shot. Thanks for your co-operation”.
See full court report in this week’s Connacht Tribune.