The chair of the North Tipperary Vintners Federation has described the trial of two Thurles bar men for manslaughter through gross negligence as “a sad case”.
Noreen O’Sullivan of O Suilleabhain’s Bar in Nenagh said that the six-day case before Nenagh Circuit Court had highlighted the dangers of alcohol.
However, she said that she could not comment on the specifics of the case because of reports that the family of the dead man are considering a civil action and that the DPP was reviewing the case and may appeal the verdict.
Hayes Hotel bar manager Gary Wright, 34, of Kilfithmone, Borrisoleigh, and Aidan Dalton, 28, barman, also of Kilfithmone, Borisoleigh, had both pleaded not guilty to causing the death of Graham Parish, 26, from Lomeshaye, Lancashire, on June 30, 2008. They were both charged with manslaughter through gross negligence under the liquor liability laws.
Mr Parish was a guest at the hotel and the trial before Judge Thomas Teehan had heard that Mr Parish died from acute alcohol poisoning. The body of the civil engineer and father of two children was found in a room in the hotel on the morning of July 1, 2008. Judge Teehan directed that the jury return a verdict of not guilty on the basis that Mr Parish’s decision to drink a cocktail of around eight spirits in a pint glass was his own decision and that broke the causation link.
Ms O’Sullivan told the Tipperary Star this Monday that vintners in North Tipperary had some years ago introduced a responsible serving programme and the health services had run courses on the subject.
She said that they had had “no problem” getting numbers to attend the programme, which she described as a “good course”.
“Most publicans take their responsibilities and duties very seriously. Over 12,000 nationally have attended such courses. Most publicans are astute and they know they need to run a good house because they can’t afford to lose their licence,” she said.
Full court report and reaction in this week’s Tipperary Star