A man who denied any involvement in the 2011 manslaughter of a teacher and publican was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison for withholding evidence during Garda investigations.
Last February, Marian Lingurar, aged 39, with a former address in Loughgeorge, Claregalway, Co Galway, had gone on trial last February charged with the unlawful killing of John Kenny, 56, at his pub on Main St, Oughterard, on September 25, 2011, contrary to common law.
However, shortly after the trial began, the DPP withdrew the manslaughter charge and accepted a plea of withholding information during the Garda investigation, which would have assisted in the apprehension and subsequent prosecution of another person in connection with Mr Kenny’s death.
The late Mr Kenny, who had been a secondary school teacher in Presentation College, Athenry, had run the family pub, which opened only at weekends.
Shane Costelloe, prosecuting, told the hearing that co-accused Florin Fitzpatrick
is serving a five-year sentence, having been convicted by a jury of withholding information.
CCTV footage showed Lingurar’s car going from Galway city to Oughterard that night and back again in the early hours of the morning.
He was arrested and detained, but denied any involvement.
John Jordan, defending, said his client was afraid of the people who were involved in the actual assault on Mr Kenny and that was the reason he did not divulge any information to gardaí.
He said a terrible crime had been committed and a very decent and much-loved man had lost his life as a result of what was done to him, but the accused, Mr Jordan pointed out, was not being sentenced for that.
“He should be,” both Mr Kenny’s daughter Gillian and his widow Kathleen shouted from the body of the courtroom
Supt Noel Kelly confirmed gardaí were still actively seeking other people believed to be involved in the incident.
He described Mr Kenny as a real father figure.
“The family feel they are still living in a nightmare and they do believe that are still living in fear. It’s a constant reminder to them when they walk past the pub, which is derelict now.
“There are still other people out there that we know were involved in this killing,” Mr Costelloe added.
Judge Rory McCabe backdated the sentence to December 2 last year.
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