Barmen charged as hotel guest dies from alcohol intoxication
By Barry Duggan
Thursday October 29 2009
TWO barmen working in one of the country’s most famous hotels have been charged with the unlawful killing of an Englishman who died from acute alcohol intoxication on the night of his birthday.
The criminal case, the first one of “liquor liability” in Ireland, has been brought against two staff at the landmark Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary, following a lengthy investigation by gardai.
Earlier this week, bar manager Gary Wright (32) and barman Aidan Dalton (27) appeared in Thurles District Court.
They were both charged with the manslaughter of Graham Parish contrary to common law at the hotel on July 1, 2008.
It is understood the young man choked to death on his own vomit following a night’s socialising at the hotel.
Both men, who gave addresses at Kilfithmone, Borrisleigh, Co Tipperary, were charged with the unlawful killing of the English national on formal directions of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The men appeared in court to face the manslaughter charges following a mammoth and complex 16-month investigation led by Supt Tony Cogan of Thurles garda station.
Graham Parish, of 41 Calder Terrace, Lomeshaye village near Nelson, Lancashire, England, was a resident in Hayes Hotel on the night of June 30/July 1 2008.
The deceased had celebrated his 26th birthday on June 30 and his death came about as a result of acute alcohol intoxication.
Judge Tom O’Donnell granted both defendants bail and ordered them to appear before the same court again next month for service of the book of evidence.
Hayes Hotel is located in Liberty Square in Thurles and is a popular haunt of GAA supporters.
The GAA was founded in the hotel on November 1, 1884, when it was known as the Commercial Hotel. The case is set to revive debate over the responsibility owed to the public by bartenders, bar owners and “social hosts”.
A spokesman for Hayes Hotel said he could not comment on the issue last night.
"We are not in a position to comment as the matter is sub-judice, except to say that we have co-operated fully with gardai on this tragic matter throughout their investigation.
“However, our thoughts at this time are first and foremost with the family and friends of the deceased, Mr Graham Parish.”
- Barry Duggan