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VIOLENT IRELAND: Beaten to death on beer session.

Byline: MICHAEL BRENNAN

THE sister of a man bludgeoned to death with beer bottles yesterday said his killer should have been on a murder charge.

Joseph McCarthy, 32, attacked father-of-three Colman Barrett during a booze session and left him to bleed to death.

At the Central Criminal Court yesterday he was sentenced to eight years in jail.

McCarthy, from Delmedge Park in Moyross, Limerick, had pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Barrett in a laneway beside St Patrick's cathedral in Galway on September 8, 2003.

The family of Mr Barrett, from the Ballybane area of the city, told the court they were very upset with the manslaughter charge.

Ann Marie Barrett said: "We feel it should be murder.

"Mum and Dad look sad all the time. They used to laugh at each other. My family have forgotten how to love each other."

The court heard Barrett and his partner Marie Ryan McCarthy had met three cousins early on the morning of the killing to go drinking.

The couple had a row at around 3pm and Mr Barrett received an injury to his head during a fall.

He refused to go to hospital and was arrested by gardai for breaching public order but released at 7pm that evening.

Marie Ryan McCarthy had met Joseph McCarthy in Eyre Square and complained about "her man" being arrested.

When Mr Barrett later met Joseph McCarthy, he punched him in the mouth then left with two youths who were accompanying him.

The two groups met up again that night at the lane and drank.

Barrett struck McCarthy on the hand with a bottle, leading to serious bleeding.

McCarthy then broke four bottles of beer over Mr Barrett's head. He and the teenagers then left to get a taxi.

A local publican saw Marie Ryan McCarthy and Mr Barrett apparently asleep and did not get help.

Barrett was finally treated at 2.36am but died due to the blood loss from his injuries.

The court heard McCarthy had 51 previous convictions between 1986 and 2003.

McCarthy's lawyer said his client was not the aggressor, was taking medication for bullet wounds received months earlier and had been drunk.

CAPTION(S):

GUILTY: Joseph McCarthy
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 8, 2005
Words:367
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