Thursday 22 March 2018

Youth (21) who fatally stabbed grandfather linked to family feud jailed for eight years

Gerard 'Ger' Delaney (51)
Gerard 'Ger' Delaney (51)
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A young man who fatally stabbed a grandfather during a St Stephen's Day melee linked to a family feud was jailed for eight years.

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 last week.

Mr Delaney suffered a total of 13 stab wounds when a confrontation between the Crinnion and Delaney families erupted in violence that night.

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.

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 had 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.

Mr Delaney went to the Manhattan Bar that night with other members of the Delaney 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.

"I would like to apologise to the Delaney family for the pain and hurt I caused...I keep replaying what happened that night in my head."

"I would wish for peace between our families....I know I have to pay for what I did. But my life is in ruins," the father of one said.

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.

Gardai stressed that, until the fatal stabbing, Dean Crinnion had not been involved in the feud and had been on friendly terms with several younger members of the Delaney family.

Mr Delaney died after suffering stab and blunt force trauma injuries in a confrontation at Friar’s Walk in Cork outside the Manhattan Bar on December 26/27 2011.

It was later found that he had sustained 13 stab injuries to his back and chest, several of which resulted in ribs and vertebrae being pierced.

His wife, Mary, said their family are "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.

Mrs Delaney sobbed as she said the stabbing had also stolen the innocence of their grandchildren on whom her husband had doted.

"There are no words to describe our pain and anguish," she added.

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 from prison.

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