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Final cocktail was 'enough to knock man unconscious'

A FATHER-of-two who died from alcohol poisoning drank enough to knock a man unconscious, as he consumed up to 10 shots in one glass after downing pints of Guinness, a court heard.

Graham Parish consumed his final drink -- "a cocktail of mixed spirits" -- just over four hours after he started drinking.

The court heard vodka, gin, Baileys, brandy and possibly a Jagermeister were in the glass, with a till receipt showing eight shots of spirits costing €30 were bought at 10.40pm.

Within minutes, Mr Parish (26) had slumped off his bar stool and was carried to a conference room by four friends -- where his dead body was found by a night porter shortly after 6am the following morning.

Two bar workers have been charged with the manslaughter of Mr Parish at Hayes Hotel, Thurles, Co Tipperary on July 1, 2008.

Hayes Hotel bar manager, Gary Wright (34) and his colleague, Aidan Dalton (28) -- both with addresses at Kilfithmone, Borrisleigh, Co Tipperary -- have pleaded not guilty to the unlawful killing at Nenagh Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Parish -- of Calder Terrace, Lomeshaye village near Nelson, Lancashire, England -- had arrived in Thurles to work at a meat processing plant on June 30, 2008.

Pathologist Dr Stephen Finn conducted a post-mortem examination on Mr Parish at the Mid-West Regional Hospital following his death.

He said from his interpretations of the victim's blood/alcohol levels, death was caused by acute alcohol intoxication.

He said the victim's alcohol/blood count was 375mgs per 100ml of blood.

This was above the average alcohol/blood level in a study of 175 people who had died from acute alcohol intoxication, which was 355mgs, Judge Tom Teehan heard.


Former clinical director of the National Poisons Information Centre, Dr Joseph Treacy, said 10 measures of spirits drunk in one go would be a "huge dose" for a person to consume. The court was yesterday told that the victim's final drink contained eight measures.

Dr Treacy said the drinker could go unconscious from such a quantity of alcohol.

Simon Turner entered the bar at 7.30pm and said Mr Parish was drinking at an average pace at the start of the evening, but drank quicker later on. Mr Turner said Mr Parish challenged some of the five people in his company to a drinking race. He said Mr Parish had "a cocktail of mixed spirits at the end".

Mr Turner said the glass was over half full. He claimed that the bar staff put the spirit measures into a single glass. He added there might have been a bet of €20 placed on Mr Parish's challenge. The court heard that the victim drank the entire cocktail in one go.

Barman Aidan Dalton denied putting vodka into the victim's pints during the night.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent