Man who attacked and killed student is jailed
A MAN has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for the manslaughter of a student 18 months ago.
Patrick Farrell (21), of Cornamuckla, Broadford, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty at Mullingar Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful killing of 20-year-old Andrew Dolan on Pearse Street, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, on January 1, 2012.
Mr Dolan, a biomedical student from Carrick-on-Shannon in Leitrim, died in Beaumount Hospital following the assault.
He is the son of popular Carrick-on-Shannon hotelier Joe Dolan, owner of The Bush Hotel, which sponsors the Leitrim GAA team. At Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Tony Hunt said it was clear from CCTV footage of the assault, which he said gave the court "an arm chair view of what happened on the night", that Mr Dolan was in a passive mode. He said he had his hands out and upturned and that there was evidence that he said to his attackers: "Don't hit me. What did I do?"
"It was a serious attack against a man who at all times was uninvolved and in retreat," Judge Hunt said.
The judge accepted that Farrell had expressed remorse, entered an early plea, and had no previous convictions.
"I have no doubt that he would look to turn the clock back," Judge Hunt said.
He added that a case such as this would warrant a jail term of of seven years but said, given the mitigating factors, he would impose a three-and-a-half year sentence.
Micheal O'Higgins, defending, told the court that his client was finding prison very difficult.
Judge Hunt told counsel that prison was not supposed to be "some kind of Butlins" before he acknowledged that Farrell who "was not a career criminal".