Wednesday 20 September 2017

'I shouldn’t be putting flowers on Andrew’s grave... a punch can and does kill' - Mother describes heartbreak

Andrew Dolan
Andrew Dolan
Andrew Dolan
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The mother of a young man killed in a drink-fuelled Christmas attack has issued a stark warning to young revellers.

Rosie Dolan's son Andrew Dolan (20) died after the assault in Mullingar in December 2011.

Three people were convicted in connection with the incident and now Rosie has waned others that "a punch can and does kill".

Speaking on Monday night's episode of Crimecall, she said: “I think friends have a responsibility when they’re out to call halt, to maybe get a taxi for someone home and get them home if they think they can’t control themselves.

“Andrew shouldn’t be dead, I shouldn’t be putting flowers on Andrew’s grave. And I would plead with people today realise that a punch can and does kill.”

The new-look Crimecall returned to RTÉ screens on Monday with presenter Keelin Shanley taking the helm for the first time.

Andrew Dolan
Andrew Dolan

She spoke to Rosie, from Co Leitrim, about her Andrew's death.

Asked to describe her son, Rosie said: “Lovely, gentle, witty. Academically very good, he loved sports. Study came easy to Andrew. He was doing Biomedical Science in Galway. He was hoping to finish that and go on and do Medicine.

“In fact his best friend is in Limerick doing medicine as we speak and they had plans to set up a practice in Scotland, they’d been for a holiday there. So his hope for the future has been robbed from him.”

Rosie said she was first told that her son had been injured in an attack at 3am on December 24.

Keelin Shanley on RTÉ Crimecall
Keelin Shanley on RTÉ Crimecall

“Horrific, absolutely horrific. But we still thought maybe he’ll be ok, maybe it’s only a cut nose or something like that and when we arrived up he was sitting up in the bed in Mullingar hospital.

“The dangerous thing with a head injury is you can come back around again and then the swelling starts and he just deteriorated. We were rushed up to Beaumont Hospital and ten days later he died.”

Rosie explained that there were two others in the hospital suffering with fatal head injuries at the same time as her son.

Jessica Hughes (21), Greenfield Heights, Rathwire, Killucan, Co Westmeath, and Patrick Daly (24), Mulphedder, Clonard, Co Meath, were acquitted of Mr Dolan’s manslaughter when tried on the basis of joint enterprise.

Although acquitted of manslaughter, the jury found Daly guilty of assault causing harm and Hughes guilty on a lesser charge of assault in relation to the attack on Mr Dolan.

In separate proceedings, Patrick Farrell (22), Cornamuckla, Broadford, Co Kildare, admitted Mr Dolan’s manslaughter and received a 3½-year prison sentence. He had delivered a final blow which caused Mr Dolan to fall and hit his head on the ground.

Two weeks ago gardaí launched a campaign encouraging young men to use their brains and not their fists when solving disputes.

Crimecall is now in its 13th season with RTÉ.

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