Friday 23 February 2018

Barmen in drink-death case had no training on dangers of alcohol

Barmen Aidan Dalton (left) and Gary Wright
Barmen Aidan Dalton (left) and Gary Wright

Barry Duggan

TWO barmen charged with the manslaughter of a customer who died from alcohol poisoning never received any training on potentially dangerous amounts of alcohol, their manager confirmed yesterday.

Gary Wright (34) and Aidan Dalton (28) have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Graham Parish at Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary, on July 1, 2008. Mr Parish died hours after celebrating his 26th birthday by drinking heavily at the hotel bar.

On the third day of evidence, the jury in Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court heard hotel manager Gerry McGovern confirm that neither of the accused men had received any training on the potentially dangerous dosages of alcohol given to customers.

Mr McGovern has been the hotel manager for 22 years. He confirmed that no disciplinary action was taken against the barmen following Mr Parish's death.

Both Mr Wright and Mr Dalton were very good employees who were very trustworthy, he told the court.

Mr Parish, from Lomeshaye village near Nelson, Lancashire, England, arrived in Ireland on June 30, 2008, to oversee work at a meat-processing plant and was a guest at the hotel that night.


The court had previously heard that the father of two died after consuming up to 10 shots in one glass. He had already downed several pints of Guinness.

Within minutes, he slumped off his bar stool and friends carried him to a conference room where he was found dead the following morning.

Yesterday, Judge Tom Teehan heard the policy and code of conduct for employees in the bar of Hayes Hotel. This included that the staff had to ensure all reasonable steps were taken for the safety and care of themselves, guests, other employees and other people on the premises.

Mr McGovern said the bar staff had to observe the demeanour of people and see if they were okay to be served. If people were unsteady on their feet or were "being a nuisance", they were not to be served.

Garda Margaret Leahy told the court she was on duty at Thurles garda station when a call came in from night porter Philip Mahoney on the morning Mr Parish died.

She found Mr Parish's body on the floor of a function room. It was "cold to touch, his skin was blue and there was no pulse".

Later that day, Gda Leahy took possession of a till receipt from the hotel bar.

Previously, the court had heard that five men, who were also working at the meat-processing plant, were drinking with Mr Parish that night. A sample of the till receipts was read out.

At 8.46pm, a round of drinks included three pints of Guinness or Smithwicks and three pints of Budweiser or Heineken. The same round was purchased at 9.10pm and again at 9.28pm.

At 10.02pm, four pints of Guinness or Smithwicks and two pints of Budweiser or Heineken were bought. Five pints were bought at 10.30pm.

At 10.34pm, an order was placed for a gin or a vodka and again at 10.36pm, along with a pint of Fosters. The court heard this could tally with previous evidence of a gin or vodka being put into Mr Parish's pints of Guinness on two occasions.

At 10.39pm, shots worth €30 were purchased. Aidan Doyle SC -- representing Aidan Dalton -- said with vodka or gin priced at €3.60, this could tally with an order of four doubles or eight singles. Gda Leahy agreed that no more than eight shots were purchased at the time.

The judge adjourned the case until Tuesday morning. It is expected to conclude next week.

Irish Independent

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