herald

Monday 23 October 2017

Grandad's killer pleads for peace in families' feud

A YOUNG man who fatally stabbed a grandfather during a St Stephen's Day melee outside a pub has pleaded for peace between two feuding families.

Dean Crinnion (21) admitted the manslaughter of grandfather and father-of-two Gerard 'Ger' Delaney (51), outside the Manhattan Bar in Friar's Walk, Cork, in 2011.

Crinnion, of Blackwater Grove, Togher, Cork had initially been charged with murder but the State accepted his manslaughter plea before the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Delaney suffered a total of 13 stab wounds when a confrontation between the Crinnion and Delaney families erupted into violence that night.

The grandfather was not a party to the feud, which had first erupted several years earlier when two young Delaney and Crinnion men fell out over a girlfriend.

Mr Delaney, his wife Mary, son Ger Jnr and daughter Karen had insisted on staying out of the long-running row with the Crinnion family.

Supt Charles Barry said Mr Delaney was a hard-working, respected man who was not party to any feud.

However, he had gone to the Manhattan Bar that night with other members of the Delaney family, some of whom wore masks and carried baseball bats, because of a perceived act of intimidation against a family member earlier that day.

He was alerted to an incident against his brother, Finbarr, by his other brother, Anthony.

The court heard that Finbarr Delaney had nearly died in a February 2011 attack when he was struck with slash-hooks and a machete.

He subsequently spent two weeks on life-support.

Robert Crinnion, a relative of Dean Crinnion, subsequently received a 10-year prison sentence for assault causing serious harm to Finbarr Delaney.

The sentence was imposed one month prior to Ger Delaney's fatal stabbing.

During the sentencing hearing, Mr Justice Paul Carney heard a personal submission from Dean Crinnion in which he pleaded for an end to the feud.

"I would like to apologise to the Delaney family for the pain and hurt I caused ... I keep replaying what happened that night in my head," he said.

He said the tragedy was the first thought in his mind each morning and the last thing he thinks of each night.

"I would wish for peace between our families ... I know I have to pay for what I did. But my life is in ruins," the father of one said.

TRAGIC

Supt Barry said Crinnion's background was particularly tragic. His father, Michael, was killed in a gangland shooting in Cork in April 1995 when Crinnion was only two.

His uncle, Kieran O'Flynn, was killed in a gangland shooting in June 2001.

Mary Delaney said her family were "devastated" by the killing.

"Ger was a loving, hard-working man and this killing took away a loved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle," she said.

Her husband doted on his grandchildren, she added.

Mr Justice Carney will impose sentence at 11am today.

hnews@herald.ie

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