Two Irish barmen have been accused of killing a customer by serving him too much alcohol.
In the first prosecution of its kind in Ireland, certain to reopen debate about the social responsibilities of barmen, 32-year-old bar manager Gary Wright and 27-year-old barman Aidan Dalton have been accused of the manslaughter of a 26-year-old customer, Englishman Graham Parish, who died of acute alcohol poisoning on his birthday.
The prosecution is the first one of “liquor liability” in Ireland.
Parish, of Lomeshaye village near Nelson, Lancashire, was a resident in Hayes Hotel, Thurles, County Tipperary, on the night of June 30/July 1, 2008. He is believed to choked to death on his own vomit following a night on the booze in the hotel which is famous as the place where the GAA, Ireland’s largest sporting organization, was founded.
The Director of Public Prosecutions ordered that Wright and Dalton be charged following a mammoth and complex 16-month investigation led by Superintendent Tony Cogan of Thurles Garda (police) station.
They were charged at Thurles District Court and were granted bail by Judge Tom O'Donnell.
They are due back in court again in December for service of the book of evidence when the case will be forwarded to a higher court for hearing by a jury.
A spokesman for Hayes Hotel said he could not comment on the issue.
“We are not in a position to comment as the matter is subjudice, except to say that we have cooperated fully with Gardai on this tragic matter throughout their investigation,” he said.
“However, our thoughts at this time are first and foremost with the family and friends of the deceased, Graham Parish.”