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Open verdict recorded in Achill death

Open verdict recorded in Achill death

Anton McNulty

AN open verdict was recorded in the death of an Achill man whose body was found in the water below the Minuan Cliffs in Achill last September.
Raymond McKenna of Polranny, Achill was reported missing on September 26, 2011 after he failed to turn up for work at the Achill Social Welfare office and his body was recovered in the water the day after following a search.
The inquest into his death which took place yesterday in Castlebar heard that he had left his home on Sunday, September 25 and was wearing hiking boots. His car was discovered parked on Minaun Heights on September 26 and his rucksack was found a day later located 20 metres from the cliff edge by the Achill Coast Guard.
Mr John O’Dwyer, Coronor for south Mayo told the inquest that there was ‘absolutely no evidence’ on how Mr McKenna ended up in the water and it would be wrong to speculate. He said that because the full circumstances of his death were not known, he explained that he was recording an open verdict.
Mr McKenna (51) was reported missing by a friend, Brendan Lennon who explained that he was trying to contact him over the weekend but was unable to do so. He said this was very unusual and when he was told he had not turned up for work on the Monday, he decided to contact the gardaí. He said that Mr McKenna and his wife, Margaret had separated and he was ‘not the same man’ since.
Garda Ronan O’Grady explained he was told by Mrs McKenna that he had left his home on Sunday and while he did not say where he was going she said he was wearing hiking boots. His car was found on Minuan Heights at 6pm on September 26 but poor weather conditions prevented the search of the mountain until the following day.
His rucksack was located at 11am by Ray Hughes, Officer in Charge with the Achill Coast Guard and it was decided to notify the Achill lifeboat to search the water. Later in the day, a body was located in the water near the cliffs and it was eventually recovered by a local diver at 4pm.
A post mortem of the body found that the cause of death was severe injuries to the head and body due to a fall from a cliff.
Mr O’Dwyer extended his sympathy to Mr McKenna’s family and commended Mr Lennon for his concern for his friend and also to Mr Hughes for the work of the Achill Coast Guard.

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