Man on trial over investigation into death of publican

Wed, Nov 14, 2012, 00:00

A 38-year-old man has gone on trial in Galway charged with withholding information during a Garda investigation into the killing of Oughterard publican and schoolteacher John Kenny last year.

Former security guard Florin Fitzpatrick, with a former rental address at The Green, College Road, Galway, denies that between September 25th and October 4th, 2011, he failed to disclose to the Garda information which he knew or believed might be of assistance in securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any other person, in relation to the unlawful death of John Kenny (56) at his pub on Main Street, Oughterard, contrary to the Offences Against the Person Act, 1998. Mr Fitzpatrick has pleaded not guilty.

Victim

The jury heard evidence yesterday from Dr Peter Harte that Mr Kenny’s body was found lying face down in the toilets of Kenny’s pub on September 25th last year. He said he was called to the scene at 5.50pm and pronounced Mr Kenny dead a short time later.

“A jacket had been wrapped around his head. His hands had been tied behind his back with electric cable. His trousers and underpants had been pulled down to his knees. The body was cold,” Dr Harte said of the victim.

Remy Farrell SC, prosecuting, told the jury that Mr Kenny was a teacher at Presentation College, Athenry, and also operated the family pub in Oughterard at the weekends. Mr Farrell said Mr Kenny had been separated from his wife since 1999 but remained close to her and their daughter, who was also a teacher in the same school in Athenry.

Mr Farrell said Mr Kenny had a relationship with another women in 2001 and met the accused through her and they became friends. He said Mr Kenny employed Mr Fitzpatrick from time to time as a barman at weekends. He explained the accused was a Romanian national who had changed his name by deed poll, taking his wife’s name when he married an Irish woman.

On the weekend in question, Mr Farrell said the accused was working in the pub while another man was working as a bouncer. Mr Farrell said the pub closed at about 1am and at that stage Mr Kenny was very intoxicated. The patrons left the pub, while the accused and the bouncer were still present, he said.

Kathleen and Gillian Kenny gave evidence they became concerned when Mr Kenny did not phone them on the Sunday morning. At about 5pm, an employee at a local pizzeria found Mr Kenny’s phone broken in pieces on the path outside the pizzeria and put it back together and rang the daughter’s number.

Kathleen Kenny recalled how she had found her husband’s body. “I could see the wire. I could see he was blue. He was suffocated and his trousers were pulled down to his knees,” she said.

The trial continues.