Monday 23 October 2017

Youth (21) who killed grandfather and father-of-two pleads for peace in family feud, court hears

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A young man who fatally stabbed a grandfather during a St Stephen's Day melee outside a pub has pleaded for peace between two feuding families.

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.

The grandfather 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.

Supt Charles Barry said Mr Delaney was a hard-working, respected man who was not party to the feud.

However, he had gone 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.

The court heard that Mr Delaney's brother, Finbarr, had nearly died in in 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.

During the sentencing hearing today (Wednesday) before the Central Criminal Court, Mr Justice Paul Carney heard a personal submission from Dean Crinnion in which he pleaded for an end to the feud violence.

"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.

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.

The grandfather had intended to spend St Stephen’s night at home with his wife but had gone to the Friar’s Walk area after becoming concerned for the safety of a family member.

His wife, Mary, told the court that the 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.

Mr Justice Carney will impose sentence at 11am tomorrow.

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