Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Dutchmen jailed for killing Irish worker in bar attack

The family of an Irishman who died after a frenzied attack outside a bar in the Netherlands will today gather for a poignant family wedding, a day after two men were jailed for his manslaughter.

Niall Coyle (33) of Four Roads, Co Roscommon, was attacked by two Dutchmen who threw him out of a bar and then launched a frenzied assault of punches and kicks.

Martin van der Wees (46) was jailed for nine years yesterday for the attack last January, while Paul van der Bor (46) received an eight-year term -- stiff sentences by Dutch standards.

Members of Mr Coyle's family, speaking outside court in Dordrecht, Holland, said they were happy with the outcome of the case but his brother Kieran (38) added: "The verdict should have been double. But this is the decision of the court and we will deal with it."

It emerged yesterday the family will gather in Co Roscommon today for the wedding of one of Mr Coyle's sisters -- a day after the two men were jailed for the manslaughter of the electrician, one of 10 children.

A judge yesterday told the men that the violence they had inflicted on Mr Coyle was "totally unnecessary".

It emerged the Irishman had asked for beer in a Dordrecht cafe and behaved normally and was not violent. But a barmaid decided she didn't want to serve him because he appeared to be drunk. She asked the men to escort Mr Coyle from the bar.

What happened next was, according to the judge, "totally bizarre". Mr Coyle threw a punch at Van der Wees and after that the situation went completely out of control. The court heard the two accused beat Mr Coyle so hard that he collapsed and died two days later in hospital. The trial heard the two went on kicking and beating the Irishman even as he lay motionless on the floor.

There was no question of self-defence, according to the judge.

Both men were extremely drunk and it emerged Van der Wees had consumed 15 beers and a quantity of rum. He also had previous convictions for being violent and was on probation for an earlier sentence.

Senseless

Sentencing the men, the judge said: "No punishment would do justice to the suffering of the family."

Although Mr Coyle had dealt the first blow it was not a severe one and did not warrant the level of violence that followed.

He was known as "a gentle giant" among his friends, said Kieran, who showed judges photographs of his brother and described him as friendly and popular.

He had only moved to Holland three weeks before his death. The trial heard also that he had been drinking in another bar where he sang Irish songs earlier in the evening.

"It was a senseless act of extreme violence and both attackers are equally responsible for his death," the public prosecutor said. Kieran said: "Mr brother would not stand on a fly, he did not deserve what he got, it was just terrible bad luck that he come up against these guys who were totally bad news."

Both convicted men were ordered to pay 11,400 euro in compensation to the dead man's family to cover his funeral and other expenses.