Judge Tom Teehan hit the nail on the head in directing the jury to find both men not guilty because of the high level of personal responsibility relating to drink.
As the recent Irish Examiner series and booklet clearly demonstrated, there is now an alarming trend of binge drinking in Ireland, with young people especially vulnerable. Tragically, while alcohol can be good for you in moderation, it can also destroy people when taken to excess.
By any measure, the amount of alcohol consumed by English man Graham Parish at Hayes Hotel was horrific. To contemplate downing between eight and 10 spirits in a pint glass was bad enough — but to actually drink that much at one go was sheer madness.
That the judge found the chain of causation in relation to the two defendants was broken because Parish decided to consume the drink, should not lead to complacency in the licensed trade towards excessive drinking. Publicans, hoteliers and bar staff have a duty of care towards their customers and must be prepared to assume responsibility if people lose self-control.
The tragic events of this case further highlight the dangers of the harmful effects of alcohol misuse and the urgent need for self-education about the benefits of responsible and sensible drinking.