A court judge has ruled that two bartenders are to be cleared of any guilt in the death of an Englishman in a County Tipperary hotel.
Judge Tom Teehan made the ruling almost three years after the death of Graham Parish, a twenty-six year old from Lancashire who had ordered a drink allegedly containing over eight shots. The men who had been behind the bar had earlier claimed that they thought the drink was for a group of Parish's friends, not solely for himself.
According to the Irish Times, Gary Wright and Aidan Dalton, both residents of Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary, had been accused of manslaughter and "gross negligence" in serving Parish that amount of alcohol. Judge Teehan acquitted the two accused when the State was unable to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt that Wright and Dalton's actions had effectually caused Parish's death.
Judge Teehan furthered his case by instructing the jury and explaining that he believed the two men were "very decent and honorable."
After Judge Teehan apologized to the family of Graham Parish, the family expressed that they did not want his death to be in vain. Releasing a statement, the family talked fondly of the father of two who had been in Ireland to celebrate his birthday as well as the birth of his newborn son. In a tragic twist, the family revealed that Parish had recently curtailed nights out in order to provide for his growing family.
Parish, a qualified design engineer, was described by his family as popular and loving. The family added that they hoped his death would be a lesson in the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, stating "if it can prevent any more deaths, we feel Graham's death is not in vain."
As for Wright and Dalton, the acquittal proved to be a bittersweet ending to a stressful chapter of their lives. Through the whole ordeal both men continue to work at the Hayes Hotel where Parish tragically succumbed to alcohol poisoning. After expressing their apologies to the Parish family, both Wright and Dalton were described as being "much relieved" that the trial had come to an end.