The trial of a Romanian man charged with the manslaughter of Galway schoolteacher John Kenny in his pub in Oughterard in 2011, ended abruptly this week when the prosecution withdrew the charge from the jury.
Marian Lingurar (37), with a former address at 29 Orchard Court, Blackpool, Cork, had earlier denied the unlawful killing of Mr Kenny at his pub on Main Street, Oughterard, on September 25, 2011, contrary to Common Law.
The prosecution entered a nolle prosequi in the manslaughter charge on Tuesday after accepting a plea to a lesser charge against the accused of withholding information during the Garda investigation into Mr Kenny’s death. Sentence has been adjourned to April 30.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, Shane Costello SC had opened the prosecution case to the jury of six women and six men.
He said evidence in the case was circumstantial as there were no independent witnesses to the offence but it was the State’s case that the accused was part of a group of people who set about robbing John Kenny in his pub that night.
He said the accused drove three other people from Galway to the public house and back again to Galway that night.
Amongst the people he drove was Florin Fitzpatrick – a Romanian man who became an Irish citizen through marriage – along with a juvenile and a third man, named as Vasile Muntean.
“They all went there with the intention of robbing Mr Kenny. The allegation is that the accused drove these men to the premises from Galway and back. Florin was working behind the bar while the juvenile was doing security at the door.
At some stage the accused drove Vasile Muntean to the pub and all four were there after the pub closed.
“Mr Kenny was beaten so severely be died from his injuries. His body was discovered the next day by his wife and daughter. He had been tied up and restrained.
“He died as a result of the beating he sustained,” Mr Costello told the jury.
While the prosecution, he said, could not prove Lingurar took park in the robbery, he did participate in the crime by driving the others to and from the premises, and was as liable and as culpable as the others.
“It cannot be proved who caused the death, but he was an active participant in the robbery that night.
“He actively participated in the robbery of the pub and of Mr Kenny and he is liable for the death of Mr Kenny. That is the prosecution case,” Mr Costello told the jury.
However, shortly afterwards, Mr Costello told Judge Rory McCabe that the prosecution was not proceeding with the manslaughter charge and that the accused could be arraigned on a second charge of withholding information.
Lingurar then pleaded guilty to withholding information from Gardaí which would assist in the apprehension and subsequent prosecution of another person in connection with the death of Mr Kenny.
See full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Boil water notice issued for Barna area
A boil water notice has been issued for the Barna area for health protection purposes
The areas affected are Barna Village, Truskey West and Truskey East, Barr Aille, Fermoyle, Ballard and along the Connemara Coast Road as far as Furbo, and on the Barna/Galway Road as far as Silverstrand.
The notice has been put in place due to issues with disinfection of the water at Tonabruckey Reservoir.
The notice affects approximately 2,300 people supplied by the Barna section of the Galway City West Public Water Supply area.
Customers in the area served by Tonabrucky Reservoir will notice increased levels of chlorine in their water supply in the coming days as we work to resolve the issue.
Vulnerable customers who have registered with Irish Water will receive direct communication on this Boil Water Notice.
Irish water, the City Council and the HSE will monitor the supply and will lift the notice when it is safe to do so.
In line with HSE Covid-19 advice and the requirement for frequent hand washing, Irish Water advises that the water remains suitable for this purpose and boiling the water is not required.
Violent incident in Tuam leaves seven hospitalised
Gardaí are investigating after an incident in Tuam yesterday left seven people injured.
A violent altercation broke out between a large group at the cemetery in Tuam at about 4pm yesterday.
Around 30 Gardaí responded to the incident at the cemetery on the Athenry Road in Tuam, which broke out following two funerals in the area.
Gardaí supported by members from the wider North Western Region and the Regional Armed Support Unit had to physically intervene between parties and disperse those present.
Five males and two females were injured during the course of the incident and were taken to University Hospital Galway with non-life threatening injuries.
A 16-year-old boy was arrested at the scene, as he tried to flee in possession of a knife.
He was taken to Tuam Garda Station and has since been released. A file is being prepared for the Juvenile Liaison Officer.
Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to this incident or for anyone with any information to contact Tuam Garda Station .
Anger over ANC ‘snip’
ANGRY farmers hit out during last week’s Galway IFA at the Dept. of Agriculture over what they described as their ‘heavy handed tactics’ in docking BEAM penalties from ANC payments made last week.
Although Agriculture Minister, Charlie McConalogue, has apologised for the actions taken by his Department officials, delegates who attended last Thursday’s night county IFA meeting in the Claregalway Hotel, hit out at what happened.
In some cases, according to Galway IFA Chairperson, Anne Mitchell, farmers who had already paid back the BEAM penalty also had the money deducted from their ANC (Areas of Natural Constraint) payments made last week.
Many farmers received ‘a shock in the post’ when their ANC payments were hit with the deductions of penalties from the BEAM scheme – earlier they had been warned of interest penalties if any balances weren’t repaid within 30 days.
At the core of the problem was the inclusion of a 5% stock numbers reduction in the BEAM scheme (Beef Exceptional Aid Measure) aimed at helping to compensate farmers for a drop-off in beef prices between September, 2018 and May, 2019.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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