The Irish Independant wrote:
Father dies following pub contest'
Friday November 17th 2006
A FATHER-of-four died after allegedly drinking 18 brandies in a competition with a friend in a pub.
Yesterday, his family settled a High Court action against the pub owner for €100,000.
Builders' labourer William Nash (43) was with a friend when he allegedly imbibed the shots of brandy at The White Horse Inn, Main Street, Mountrath, Co Laois.
Mr Nash's friend was the first to fall down, a lawyer told the High Court, and Mr Nash fell down then and died later that evening in hospital.
The men, said Declan Doyle, SC, had gone for a few drinks after work on August 28, 1999 and started a drinking competition about who could down the most brandy.
Noting the settlement and approving the payment in court of €15,000 for Mr Nash's youngest son, Kelvin (11), Justice Philip O'Sullivan expressed his deep sympathy to the Nash family "in this particularly tragic case".
Mr Nash's widow, Diane, of Kennedy Park, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, had sued Anne Fitzpatrick, the owner of the The White Horse Inn.
The White Horse Inn has since been renamed the Mountrath Inn and is no longer owned by Ms Fitzpatrick.
It was claimed that Mrs Nash's late husband visited The White Horse Inn and, with three other people, began drinking pints of beer.
It was claimed that Mr Nash, with the alleged knowledge and implied consent of Anne Fitzpatrick, then engaged in a competition to see who could drink the most brandy.
It was alleged Mr Nash and his colleague were served about 18 brandies each within the space of 90 minutes.
It was alleged that at 5.l5pm on August 28, 1999, Mr Nash's colleague collapsed and that shortly afterwards Mr Nash became ill. Both were taken to Portlaoise Hospital, where Mr Nash was pronounced dead at 6.35pm. Mr Nash, it was alleged, died from aspiration of vomit due to alcohol intoxication.
Mrs Nash claimed that the pub owner was negligent in serving and continuing to serve alcohol to Mr Nash to the extent which they knew, or ought to have known, would cause serious damage to his health and render probable his death.
It was also alleged the pub owner was negligent in failing to intervene in the drinking competition.
Mr Nash, it was claimed, was a loving husband and father and his wife and children had all suffered great mental distress as a result of his untimely death.
Ms Fitzpatrick denied Mr Nash was served 18 brandies in 90 minutes, or at all. It was also denied that Mr Nash, with the alleged knowledge or implied consent of Ms Fitzpatrick, engaged in a competition to determine who could drink the most brandy.
Counsel for Mrs Nash, Declan Doyle, told the court that the case had been settled out of court for €100,000 and costs.
Mr Doyle said the action against the pub was quite an unusual one and, if it had proceeded, would have been a test case in the jurisdiction.
Mr Justice O'Sullivan said it was clearly a high-risk form of litigation and a first for the country.
If it had gone ahead and if Mrs Nash had succeeded in the action, there would have had to be a finding of a very high degree of contributory negligence, the judge said.
As probably in many countries world wide it is illegal to sell alcohol to intoxicated persons but it is never enforced, things may change somewhat after this tragic story
Please excuse me for saying this...if it comes across at all patronising forgive me-it isn't intended as such.
You wrote "...she did it to herself. I have no more tears to shed."
The first sentence i would support in that it is the reality on one level. you are not responsible for what happened, and do not need the burden of guilt that would be so easy to take on.
The second sentence I question. You miss her, fter all. The reality is you have as many tears to shed as you have tears to shed. That is natural and right, and in no way "weak" or "self-pitying". Grief takes as long as it takes to process - you can't force it. And genuine tears are as neccessary, and liberating , as genuine laughter - no need to be ashamed of either. Grief DOES diminish, and often leaves its trace as gratitiude for the good things you will always remember...
No doubt your therapist will have asked you what in you attracted such a "difficult" situation. that's a hell of a question I know, but it is one that I have asked myself over and over to arrive, at quite a late stage in my life, in a healthy relationship....and with a delightful 19 month old daughter - my first child. I learned that i attract what I unknowingly believe about myself. As i started to see myself in a kinder light so everything began to change for the better.
I hope this doesn't sound too simplistic. i'm only sharing what I know, having suffered a childhood fraught with incredibly undermining emotional and psychological input.
At last, I truly feel that i am alive, in my own skin...as the great bluesman Willie Dixon wrote "I live the life I love and I love the life I live." It may not seem this way right now, but you must believe that IS your birthright!
I'm also concerned that you may drink to suppress tears...please tell me i'm wrong!
May I also suggest you choose the most supportive environment you can at christmas, when, I have found, feelings of loss seem to be highlighted.
I wish you the very best.
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