Wednesday 17 January 2018

Celebration of good fortune that ended in death for 'gentle giant'

Barry Duggan

Graham Parish's mother Julie and father David leaving Nenagh Court, Co Tipperary, after the verdict yesterday.

Brian Gavin

GRAHAM Parish had just flown into the country from England, and was perhaps overly eager to impress his new work colleagues.

He wasn't a big drinker but it was his 26th birthday, his first son had recently been born and he had secured work in the factory, so he felt entitled to have a few drinks.

The design engineer -- from Lomeshaye village near Nelson, Lancashire, England -- walked into the bar of Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary, at 6.30pm on June 30, 2008.

He wasn't alone. His workmates were also keen to ensure that 'Shaggy' had a good time.

Two barmen -- manager Gary Wright and Aidan Dalton -- were on duty that evening.

Shortly after Mr Parish began drinking, he was joined by colleagues. As the night wore on, the drinking became heavier.

Shortly after 10.30pm, four spirits were chosen and a double order of each shot was ordered. Mr Dalton later recalled that Baileys, Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels and gin was the request.

The barman checked with his manager whether it was okay to serve the cocktail. Mr Wright looked at the drinker and deemed it permissible. 'Shaggy' slammed the concoction back.

A post-mortem found that his death was caused by acute alcohol intoxication.

Last night on his Facebook page, Mr Wright expressed his gratitude to all. "Not guilty. Thanks everyone from the bottom of my heart for your messages of support. It really helped."

Meanwhile, back in England, two young children are left without a father who was known by friends and family as the 'gentle giant'.

Irish Independent

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