Man admits manslaughter during Cork pub fracas

Defendant expresses hope peaceful relations can be restored between feuding families

Mr Justice Paul Carney sitting at the beginning of the Dean Crinnion murder trial at the Central Criminal Court in Cork yesterday. Photograph: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

Mr Justice Paul Carney sitting at the beginning of the Dean Crinnion murder trial at the Central Criminal Court in Cork yesterday. Photograph: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

Thu, Jul 10, 2014, 12:59

A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a man during a row at a pub in Cork on St Stephen’s Night three years ago.

Dean Crinnion had denied the murder of Gerard Delaney (51) on December 27th, 2011, when he was arraigned on the charge at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork on Tuesday.

But today, his counsel, Brendan Grehan SC, asked that Crinnion be re-arraigned on the charge that he murdered Mr Delaney at Lower Friar’s Walk, Ballyphehane in Cork.

Crinnion, from Blackwater Grove, Togher, Cork again replied “not guilty” to the murder charge but said he was pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Delaney.

Prosecution counsel Marjorie Farrelly SC said the plea of manslaughter was acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions, and applied to have Crinnion remanded for sentence.

Mr Grehan said his client wanted to express his sorrow and remorse to the family of the late Mr Delaney, a father of two who lived at Lakelands Crescent in Mahon, Cork.

“It is also his earnest hope that peaceful relations can be restored between the two families,” Mr Grehan said in reference to a longstanding feud between the two families.

Mr Justice Paul Carney noted Crinnion’s guilty plea and remanded him in custody for sentence on July 16th. He also ordered the preparation of a victim impact statement.

Opening the prosecution case on Tuesday, Ms Farrelly told how a group associated with the Crinnions had gone into Quirkey’s Bar in Ballyphehane on the afternoon of St Stephen’s Day.

A number of members of the Delaney family were in the bar at the time and were concerned because they felt the Crinnion faction were trying to intimidate them in their local pub.

Ms Farrelly explained there was history between the families going back to an incident on February 6th, 2011 between Mr Delaney’s brother Finbarr and a sister of Crinnion.

Finbarr Delaney was seriously assaulted later that night and Crinnion’s brother Robert received a 10-year jail sentence for the offence in November 2011.

Ms Farrelly explained that following the visit by the Crinnion faction to Quirkey’s pub, a number of men from the Delaney side went to the Manhattan Bar where the Crinnions were.

“A decision was made that a number of people would go to the Manhattan Bar and effectively tell them [the Crinnion faction] to stay out of Quirkey’s and stop intimidating the Delaneys.”

Gerard Delaney and another man, Keith Spillane (42), who were armed with a baseball bat and pickaxe handle and had their hoods up, accompanied Finbarr Delaney into the Manhattan Bar.

They entered the bar via the fire exit and went over to the four men who had called to Quirkey’s earlier in the day and spoke to them about their visit, she said.

“The three turned on their heels to leave the bar after Finbarr Delaney said whatever he had to say. As they were leaving a glass was thrown, and with it a fracas broke out,” she said.

“In the course of Gerard Delaney struggling with another person in the dartboard area, Dean Crinnion stabbed Gerard Delaney into the back with a knife.

“You will hear from Finbarr Delaney that he (Crinnion) stabbed him, that he stabbed him a number of times in the bar.

“You will hear from others of the retreat out of the Manhattan Bar, making their way out to the car park and you will hear that one of the persons following them out was Dean Crinnion.

“You will then hear evidence that Dean Crinnion, being one of the persons following the deceased, again attacked Gerard Delaney with a knife and stabbed him repeatedly.”

Ms Farrelly said a postmortem on Mr Delaney showed that he had suffered stab wounds that penetrated bone, lungs, vertebrae and the small bowel.

“It is the State’s case, those wounds were inflicted by Dean Crinnion,” Ms Farrelly told the jury, who had earlier been informed by Mr Justice Carney the trial could last three weeks.

Today, Ms Farrelly told Mr Justice Carney that additional charges of violent disorder and possession of a knife against Crinnion could be considered at sentencing next week.