Barmen ‘had no training on dangerous doses of alcohol’

TWO hotel workers charged with the manslaughter of a guest who died after a night of heavy drinking had received no specific training on potentially dangerous doses or amounts of alcohol, Nenagh Circuit Court heard yesterday.

Gary Wright, 34, bar manager of Hayes Hotel in Thurles and barman Aidan Dalton, 28, both of Kilfithmone, Borrisoleigh, have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Englishman Graham Parish.

The 26-year-old engineer died from acute alcohol poisoning after a night’s drinking in the hotel bar with five other Englishmen.

It is a landmark case under the liquor liability laws.

Mr Parish, from Calder Terrace in Lomeshaye village near Nelson, East Lancashire, was a resident at the hotel when he was found dead slumped in an upstairs conference room, early on the morning of July 1, 2008.

He had booked into the hotel the previous day and had been in Thurles to carry out work at the Dew Valley meat plant.

On the third day of the trial, Gerry McGovern, who has managed Hayes Hotel for the past 22 years, said neither defendant would have got training on the risks associated with excessive amounts of alcohol.

In reply to Aidan Doyle, for Dalton, the witness said the hotel had an unwritten rule: anybody coming into the hotel carvery or bar was not to be served alcohol if they “had drink taken”.

Mr McGovern agreed that the hotel’s policy of meeting the needs of guests meant that when people on the premises ordered drink, as a general proposition, the order was met.

Garda Margaret Leahy received a call at Thurles Garda Station at 6.25am on July 1, 2008 from the hotel’s night porter Philip Mahony. He told her a man might be in trouble and needed help.

On going to the hotel she found Mr Parish on the floor of the upstairs function room and he was deceased.


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