THE two barmen acquitted of the manslaughter of a father who drank himself to death will return to work next week.
It was business as usual in Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary, yesterday, but, following their six-day trial, bar manager Gary Wright (34) and barman Aidan Dalton (28) were not present.
The Irish Independent understands that both employees have been given the weekend off and will return to work next week.
On Thursday, at Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Tom Teehan directed a jury to find the two barmen not guilty of the manslaughter of Graham Parish (26) at the hotel on July 1, 2008.
Mr Parish died from acute alcohol poisoning after a night's heavy drinking, which included knocking back pints in one go and downing eight spirit measures from one glass.
It was the first attempt by the State to criminally prosecute bar staff as a result of the death of a customer who died from alcohol poisoning.
The barmen, from Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary, declined to comment yesterday.
While the trial was ongoing, both Mr Wright and Mr Dalton continued to work at the north Tipperary hotel.
Mr Wright has worked there throughout his adult life while Mr Dalton has been employed at the hotel since 2002 and was made full time in 2007.
Hayes Hotel manager Gerry McGovern described the two men as very trustworthy and good employees.
It emerged yesterday that Mr Parish's parents, David and Julie, are taking a civil case in the High Court against the Mulcahy Hotel group, trading as Hayes Hotel Ltd. It is expected the case could take up to two years to complete.
The two men were acquitted when the judge said the courts placed a high importance on individual responsibility, and that Mr Parish had taken the decision to drink the spirit shots from one glass.
The acquittal of both men has been met with widespread approval throughout Thurles and across the wider region.