A MAN who killed an apprentice plumber in a "senseless and alcohol-fuelled" brawl has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Dean O'Reilly (26), of Lower Sheriff Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the manslaughter of Barry Walsh (22), of Castleknock, at Fairview Park on October 11, 2009.
The court heard that the victim had a congenital defect which had left him with an abnormally thin skull. He died from brain injuries caused by his head hitting the ground.
The single fatal blow was struck after a row broke out between two groups who had been out socialising in the nearby Barcode night club.
Patrick Marrinan SC, prosecuting, described the row as a "senseless and alcohol-fuelled altercation".
A victim-impact report prepared by the parents, Bernard and Emer Walsh, was read by Judge Martin Nolan. However, the parents asked for it not to be read in open court and declined to comment after the case.
The court heard that the victim was an apprentice plumper in Croke Park. He was in a relationship with a girl and rarely went to night clubs.
O'Reilly was sentenced to six years in jail, with the last two-and-a-half years suspended.
The court heard how Mr Walsh, from Castleknock, left the club with two friends. They met two girls who were part of a separate group of friends.
They spoke to the girls and an argument broke out between them and the boyfriend of one girl. This became physical and spilled out on to the street.
O'Reilly then chased the deceased and struck him from behind with a single forceful blow which knocked him to the ground. Mr Walsh's head struck the tarmac with force.
Mr Walsh was taken to the Mater Hospital where a CT scan revealed multiple skull fractures and significant bleeding in the brain.
He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital, but despite surgery he was pronounced dead two days later.
O'Reilly told gardai he had not wanted to get involved in the fight, adding: "I didn't intend to kill anyone. It was one of those drunken mom- ents."
He came forward as soon as he heard the victim had died, telling gardai: "I'm sorry, I'm gutted. I realise it was me."
Defence counsel Aileen Donnelly SC said her client's partner was due to give birth to their second child next week.
She said her client was full of guilt and remorse and was offering €2,000 to the court as a token of his remorse.