An inquest was told today that a retired priest, who was found dead close to a railway line near Ballyhaunis last January, died from natural causes.
The Coroner for Mayo Pat O’Connor heard that there was no evidence of foul play in the death of 73-year-old Fr. Michael Kenny, nor was there any evidence that he had been struck by a passing train.
Fr. Kenny lived in the home of his deceased parents at Skeaghhard just outside Ballyhaunis, since his retirement three years ago.
Up to his retirement, he served in a number of parishes in the Tuam Archdiocese, including Recess, Mulranny, Tooreen, Belclare, Letterfrack and Kilconly.
Today’s inquest was told that he had a big interest in horse racing as well as golfing, Mayo football and game hunting during the shooting season.
Fr. Kenny died suddenly while on one of his regular walks near the rail line.
His body was discovered by an Irish Rail worker on January 17 last, and the inquest was told that he probably died three days earlier.
The medical cause of death, as outlined by Dr. Fadel Bennani, a consultant pathologist at Mayo University Hospital , was ischemic heart disease due to occlusive coronary atheroma with severe fatty liver with early fibrosis an additional factor.
After returning a verdict of death from natural causes, the Coroner Mr O’Connor sympathised with Fr Kenny's family, and the communities where he had served as a priest, adding that they too had suffered a loss.
Sergeant Thomas McIntyre, on behalf of An Garda Siochana, joined in the expressions of sympathy.