Thursday 18 January 2018

Father died after knocking back a pint glass full of spirits in bar

Barry Duggan

IT was the night of his 26th birthday and Graham Parish was celebrating with an overnight stay at the historic Hayes Hotel.

The Englishman was in Thurles, Co Tipperary, after flying in for work. However, the celebrations turned into tragedy as the father of two drank himself to death, which in turn led to two bar staff being charged with his unlawful killing.

Hayes Hotel bar manager Gary Wright (34) and his colleague Aidan Dalton (28) yesterday pleaded not guilty at Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court to the manslaughter of Mr Parish at the hotel on July 1, 2008.

Mr Parish, of Lomeshaye near Nelson, Lancashire, England, had flown into the country on June 30 to carry out work at a meat processing plant, Dew Valley, in Thurles.

Known as 'Shaggy' to his work colleagues, he worked for Reliant Installation and was overseeing a project at the Tipperary plant.

Mr Parish arrived there at 1.30pm and began work before leaving the site at 5.30pm and making his way to Hayes Hotel in Liberty Square, where he was staying for the night.

Hayes Hotel is a popular haunt of GAA supporters -- the sporting organisation was founded in the hotel on November 1, 1884. It was then known as the Commercial Hotel.

At 6.30pm, Mr Parish entered the hotel bar and began drinking pints of Guinness. He was joined by five other English workers over the course of the evening. The group drank heavily until midnight.

Electrician Craig Bateson, from west Yorkshire, said he had eight or nine pints of Guinness and Mr Parish had more.

At around 10pm, a vodka was put into Mr Parish's drink and he downed it. Subsequently, unknown to him, another two vodkas were put into another pint, which he drank.

Judge Tom Teehan heard yesterday that Mr Parish challenged the other drinkers and said he could down 10 spirits in a pint glass before they could finish their pints.

Barman Aidan Dalton asked his manager, Gary Wright, whether it was okay to serve the alcohol, and was given permission.

The six drinkers, including Mr Parish, all paid for a selection of spirits from the bar which were put into a pint glass.

One of the drinkers, Marcus Ludwell, yesterday said Mr Parish's drink cost about €40.

The victim drank it in one go and shortly afterwards slumped on his bar stool and fell onto the floor. He was carried from the bar by four of the drinkers to the first floor where they laid him on his side and wedged him between a table and chair.

The group finished their drinks and then went to get food from a nearby takeaway.


Night porter Philip Mahoney said he came on duty at midnight and was told by Gary Wright that Mr Parish was upstairs. He said he checked on Mr Parish at 2am and 2.30am.

Just before 6am, the porter said he got a strong smell, as if Mr Parish had soiled himself, and went to check him again.

He said Mr Parish was not answering him and he shook his shoulders. He checked for a pulse, saw vomit, and then called gardai.

A doctor also arrived and the victim was pronounced dead at 7.15am. He died from acute alcoholic poisoning.

The trial of Mr Wright and Mr Dalton -- who both have addresses at Kilfithmone, Borrisleigh, Co Tipperary -- continues today.

Irish Independent

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