Sunday 24 September 2017

I thought the shots were to be shared, barman tells court

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

The barman who served a cocktail of shots to a hotel guest who died of alcohol poisoning believed the drink would be shared with his friends, a court heard today.

Aidan Dalton said he would never have served Graham Parish the mix of drinks in one glass if he realised he would slam it down.

Mr Dalton and his bar manager Gary Wright have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Parish in the Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary on June 30 2008.

The civil engineer was celebrating his 26th birthday and had been drinking heavily with five British contractors in the hotel before downing two pints of Guinness with shots in them.

A judge and jury at Nenagh Circuit Court heard statements which were taken from the co-accused by investigating officers.

Mr Dalton told gardai he asked his bar manager if it was okay to serve about 10 shots in a glass to a birthday boy - who was nicknamed Shaggy - as he had never served more then a triple in the past.

"Shaggy's friend bet him to drink it and he was fully aware what was in the pint glass," the statement read.

"I asked Gary if it was okay to give him a pint glass of spirits. He said it was okay... it was just a bit of fun.

"I then served this drink to Shaggy."

In a later interview Mr Dalton told officers he believed the mix of drinks was going to be passed around the group to share.

"If I realised he was going to slam it I wouldn't have served it," the statement added.

Mr Parish, a father-of-two from Calder Terrace in Lomeshaye village near Nelson, east Lancashire, was working in Ireland when he died.

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