A YOUNG man whose father and uncle were both victims of gangland killings has been jailed for eight years for the fatal stabbing of a grandfather during a St Stephen's Day melee.
Dean Crinnion (21) admitted the manslaughter of grandfather and father-of-two Gerard 'Ger' Delaney (51), outside the Manhattan Bar in Friar's Walk, Cork, in 2011.
Crinnion of Blackwater Grove, Togher, Cork, had initially been charged with murder – but the State accepted his manslaughter plea before the Central Criminal Court.
Mr Delaney suffered a total of 13 stab wounds when a confrontation between the Crinnion and Delaney families erupted in violence.
Mr Justice Paul Carney said Crinnion, who had insisted to gardai he only stabbed Mr Delaney once, had to take responsibility for all 13 stab wounds.
Several of the stab wounds were so deep that the knife pierced Mr Delaney's ribs and vertebrae.
Mr Justice Carney also said it was "unfortunate" that no evidence was offered as to how Crinnion came into possession of the knife or how it was disposed of.
Mr Delaney was not a party to the feud which had erupted several years earlier when two young Delaney and Crinnion men fought over a girlfriend.
Mr Delaney with his wife Mary, son Ger Jnr, and daughter Karen, had insisted on staying out of the long-running row with the Crinnion family.
His wife said the family was "devastated" since the killing.
"Ger was a loving, hard-working man and this killing took away a loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle," she said.
Mr Delaney went to the Manhattan Bar that night with other members of the family, some of whom wore masks and carried baseball bats, because of a perceived act of intimidation against a family member earlier that day.
Mr Delaney's brother, Finbarr, had nearly died in a February 2011 attack when he was struck with slash-hooks and a machete.
Robert Crinnion, a relative of Dean Crinnion, subsequently received a 10-year prison sentence for assault causing serious harm to Finbarr Delaney.
Dean Crinnion apologised for Ger Delaney's death and pleaded for an end to the feud.
The father-of-one said: "I would like to apologise to the Delaney family for the pain and hurt I caused.
"I would wish for peace between our families. I know I have to pay for what I did. But my life is in ruins."
However, the Delaney family rejected the apology.
Crinnion's father, Michael, was killed in a gangland shooting in Cork in April 1995 when he was just two years old.
His uncle, Kieran O'Flynn, had then helped look after the youngster until he too was killed in a gangland shooting in June 2001.
Mr Justice Carney jailed Crinnion for 10 years but agreed to suspend the final two years in light of his plea, his age at the time of the stabbing and his lack of previous convictions.
But he made it a condition of the bond that Crinnion stay away from the Delaney family once he is released.