The family of a man stabbed to death at Christmas time in Cork City said nobody had the right to take another person’s life, adding that this was a job for God alone.
Superintendent Charles Barry outlined what happened on the night/early morning of December 26/27, 2011, when Gerard Delaney was killed at Lower Friars Walk, Ballyphehane, Cork.
The deceased’s brother Finbarr Delaney believed the visit of associates of the Crinnion family to his bar was intended to intimidate, so he went to their local, the Manhattan Bar, to warn them not to do so. He was unarmed and unmasked, but his brother, Gerard, and another man, wore masks and carried wooden bats as they stood with him in the pub.
As they left without any exchange of physical violence, a bottle was thrown at the last man to leave, Gerard Delaney. There followed a fracas in which Dean Crinnion stabbed him in the back in the pub and then followed him and stabbed him more times.
Supt Barry said that the feud between various members of the families stemmed from a row between some of the younger people over a girlfriend and there was a series of incidents, not least the assault by Finbarr Delaney on Pamela Crinnion, the accused man’s sister, and the subsequent serious assault on Finbarr Delaney by Robert Crinnion, the accused man’s brother.
Supt Barry stressed that members of the deceased’s family had nothing to do with the feud at any time and he referred to Gerard Delaney’s widow, Mary, daughter, Karen, and son Gerard jnr, as having no hand, act or part in it.
Through tears in court, Mary Delaney, said: “There are no words to describe the pain and anger that we have felt since Gerard’s death. No person deserves to be so cruelly taken and no family deserves to live the rest of their lives with this pain and without a loved one who was so precious.
“Gerard was a loving, giving man with a heart as big as the world. His killing took a husband, a father, granddad, brother and friend who was greatly loved. Gerard was a hard-working, intelligent and kind man. He had a good job and loved life so much.
“To have our personal life become so public has been very difficult for all of us. All we can hope for now is when justice is finally done we can begin to grieve for Gerard.”
One of his sisters, Rita Hannigan, said: “We were just like any other family getting on with our everyday lives. Now we spend our days talking about Gerard and the devastation that has hit our family. If Gerard had died from some illness, we could have accepted it better, but instead we have to look at the person that took Gerard’s life. We all have one life and no one has the right to take that life from you; that is God’s job.
“We have put our trust and faith in the gardaí and the justice system and it was decided to accept the charge of manslaughter (instead of having a murder trial) but to us, all we know is that Gerard is dead as he was stabbed 13 times and we are never going to see our Gerard again.”
Brendan Grehan said long before yesterday, the accused had been apologising for what he had done that night in 2011 when he was 18 years old. The teenager told gardaí Mr Delaney did not deserve to die.
Dean Crinnion, aged 20, of 1 Blackwater Grove, Togher, Cork, will be sentenced by Mr Justice Paul Carney at 11am today at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.
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