Jailing Dean Crinnion for eight years, Mr Justice Paul Carney suspended a further two years of the sentence on condition the defendant would stay away from the family of the deceased, in perpetuity.
Crinnion’s trial had ended last week when he pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter —the unlawful killing of Gerard Delaney on the night/early morning of December 26/27, 2011, at Lower Friars Walk, Ballyphehane, Cork.
The Central Criminal Court had heard a feud between members of the two families stemmed from a row between some of the younger people over a girlfriend and, after a series of incidents, matters escalated.
The Delaney family did not give any reaction to the sentence yesterday, as they left the Washington Street courthouse in Cork.
The deceased man’s widow, Mary Delaney, stated: “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.”
Marjorie Farrelly, SC, for the prosecution said the Director of Public Prosecutions put the severity of the manslaughter in the upper range of gravity.
Mr Justice Carney said the range of sentencing for manslaughter was from a fully suspended sentence to life imprisonment.
He first imposed 10 years and then said he had to take into consideration a plea of guilty.
Even though the plea of guilty was entered in the course of the trial, it could not be regarded as a late plea as the prosecution had previously held out for a conviction for manslaughter.
“I have to take into consideration his lack of previous convictions at the material time.
“I take into consideration his age as affording some mitigation primarily because the prosecution appeared to consider that.
“I don’t think his childhood tragedies afford any mitigation in relation to him killing Gerard Delaney,” Mr Justice Carney said.
Dean Crinnion, it emerged, had been aged two when his father Michael Crinnion was shot dead on Barrack Street in Cork outside a pub, then called The Three Ones. The late Michael Crinnion’s brother-in-law, Kieran O’Flynn, became a father figure for him but by the time the boy had reached the age of six his uncle had also been shot dead at the front door of his home in Thorndale Estate in Cork.
Garda Supt Charles Barry had stated, on Wednesday, that knife victim Gerard Delaney and another man wore masks and carried wooden bats as Finbarr Delaney — unarmed and unmasked — spoke out to a number of men in The Manhattan Bar pub about what he believed was intimidation earlier at a local pub frequented by the Delaneys.
As the three men left without any exchange of physical violence, a bottle was thrown at the last man to leave, Gerard Delaney. In a fracas which followed, Dean Crinnion stabbed Mr Delaney in the back, inside the pub, and then followed him out of the premises and stabbed him again — 13 times in total. He died about an hour later.