Six men and one woman were charged with murder and went on trial at the Central Criminal Court in October, after pleading not guilty. However, those charges were dropped, after they pleaded guilty to lesser charges and had their new pleas accepted.
Dale Creighton was assaulted at the footbridge over the Tallaght bypass between Saint Dominic’s Rd and Greenhills Rd four hours after he had rung in the new year. He died in hospital the following day. The cause of his death was blunt force injury to his head and face.
In the Central Criminal Court yesterday, Helena Darcy, a friend of Mr Creighton’s mother Rhoda Smith, read a victim-impact statement on her behalf.
The court heard Dale was the firstborn of Ms Smith’s two children and her only son. “He grew up to be a lovely polite handsome young man with a stunning smile, he was quiet and shy.”
Ms Smith said her son texted her that night and she “rang him at the bells” and told her his plans to meet his cousin in Crumlin and he would see her the next day.
The words “I love you” were the last words Ms Smith heard from her son.
The second victim-impact statement read by Garda Kieran Kilcoyne was written by Dale Creighton’s father, Darren Creighton who said on January 1, 2014, his life “changed forever” when he received a call to say his son had been assaulted in Tallaght and was being transferred to Beaumont Hospital.
The family donated Dale’s organs which gave “five people a chance of life.”
Counsel on behalf of all of the accused made pleas in mitigation on their behalf and handed in testimonials to the court. The majority expressed remorse for their actions.
Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy will pronounce sentence on January 16.