Friday 23 March 2018

Dad of teen who was beaten to death fears more 'acts of poison'

Nicola Donnelly

THE father of a teenager who suffered fatal injuries in a street beating fears the same thing will happen again as "the price of a human life sinks to new lows".

Unemployed father-of-three Douglas Ward (36), who punched and kicked Niall Dorr (18) "like a rag doll", will be sentenced later this week.

Ward, with an address at Loughantarve, Knockbridge, Co Louth, had earlier pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Dorr in Dundalk on October 13, 2010.

The court heard that Ward had attended a bail hearing at Dundalk Circuit Court that morning for an offence and instead of leaving Dundalk he was encouraged to go drinking with friends.

Niall's father David read out an emotional victim impact report which said if Niall's death helped prevent others, it would help in some small way.

"But this is a flawed hope because our society is moving on to repeat again and again the very acts of poison that occurred that night. Death, murder and destruction are causing havoc on our streets with no sign of a cure."

Mr Dorr said: "When the nurse handed him to me, this 6lb 9oz bundle of joy actually had me in tears. I didn't cry again for 18 years and 48 weeks, which is exactly how long we had him for."


He said Niall had represented Ireland for several years at kick boxing, winning a bronze medal in 2004 and a silver in 2009.

He saved the lives of five people by donating his organs after signing a donor card just three months before his death.

"One of the toughest things myself and Shane (Niall's brother) will ever have to do was to carry his coffin out of the house, and for his mam (Veronica) to walk behind us was equally tough on her," said Mr Dorr.

"We could have accepted this better if he had died through an illness or an accident but not this way. This was cruel and heartless and I just hope when the accused looks at his children he will think of the young man he killed.

"At the moment, in this country, the price of a human life is sinking to new lows every day," he added.

Mr Dorr said instead of celebrating Niall's 21st several weeks ago with a party, all they could do was visit his grave and lay flowers.

Detective Inspector Pat Marry told the court that a number of 999 calls were made at around 9pm stating a young man was lying unconscious on the footpath in Castle Road, Dundalk, partially dressed and underneath a parked car.

He was identified as Mr Dorr and was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where his condition deteriorated rapidly. He was transferred to Beaumont Hospital where it was discovered he had irrecoverable brain damage, and he later died.

The court heard Ward, who had been drinking all day, was with four males and two females who were trying to gain access to a house party at Castle Road.

"It was a chance encounter between the groups," said Det Marry. "During the fracas, Mr Dorr became isolated with Mr Ward and he was assaulted in a very violent fashion."

Another witness gave a graphic account to gardai, saying it was a "continuous beating with vicious kicking and punching".

Ward will be sentenced at the Central Criminal Court on Friday.

Irish Independent

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