Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Barman testifies over shots death

Aidan Dalton (left) and bar manager Gary Wright deny the manslaughter of Graham Parish

The barman who served a cocktail of shots to a hotel guest who died of alcohol poisoning believed the drink would be shared with his friends, a court has been told.

Aidan Dalton said he would never have served Graham Parish the mix of drinks in one glass if he realised he would slam it down.

Mr Dalton and his bar manager Gary Wright have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Parish in the Hayes Hotel in Thurles, Co Tipperary, on June 30 2008.

The civil engineer was celebrating his 26th birthday and had been drinking heavily with five British contractors in the hotel before downing two pints of Guinness with shots in them.

A judge and jury at Nenagh Circuit Court heard statements which were taken from the co-accused by investigating officers.

Mr Dalton told gardai he asked his bar manager if it was OK to serve about 10 shots in a glass to a birthday boy - who was nicknamed Shaggy - as he had never served more then a triple in the past.

"Shaggy's friend bet him to drink it and he was fully aware what was in the pint glass," the statement read. "I asked Gary if it was OK to give him a pint glass of spirits. He said it was OK... it was just a bit of fun."

In a later interview Mr Dalton told officers he believed the mix of drinks was going to be passed around the group to share.

"If I realised he was going to slam it I wouldn't have served it," the statement added.

Mr Parish, a father-of-two from Calder Terrace in Lomeshaye village near Nelson, east Lancashire, was working in Ireland when he died.

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