Tuesday 28 March 2017

Just one punch in fight can be fatal, grieving mum warns young men

Andrew Dolan (20) died after he was assaulted assaulted in Mullingar in December 2011
Andrew Dolan (20) died after he was assaulted assaulted in Mullingar in December 2011
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The mother of a young man killed in a drink-fuelled Christmas attack has warned young revellers that a "punch can and does kill".

Rosie Dolan's son Andrew Dolan (20) died after he was assaulted assaulted in Mullingar in December 2011.

Three people were convicted in connection with the incident and the grieving mother has warned others of how dangerous a single punch can be.

Speaking on last night's episode of Crimecall, she said: "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 yesterday with presenter Keelin Shanley taking the helm for the first time.

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

She spoke to Rosie, from Co Leitrim, about her son's death. Asked to describe Andrew, she 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. 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.

"Horrific, absolutely horrific. But we still thought maybe he'll be OK.

"The dangerous thing with a head injury is you can come back around again and then the swelling starts and he just deteriorated. Ten days later he died."

Jessica Hughes (21), of Killucan, Co Westmeath, and Patrick Daly (24), of Clonard, Co Meath, were acquitted of Mr Dolan's manslaughter.

Although acquitted of manslaughter, the jury found Daly guilty of assault causing harm and Hughes guilty on a lesser charge of assault. In separate proceedings, Patrick Farrell (22), of Broadford, Co Kildare, admitted Mr Dolan's manslaughter and received a three-year prison sentence. Gardaí have launched a campaign encouraging young men to use their brains and not their fists.

Irish Independent

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