I’ll never forgive Dale’s evil killers, says father

by Sylvia Pownall
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THE father of a 20-year-old brutally beaten to death has said he will never forgive his son’s killers, adding: “They are evil.”
Darren Creighton spoke after viewing the harrowing CCTV footage of the frenzied attack on his son Dale at a footbridge over the Tallaght bypass in the early hours of New Year’s Day, 2014.
He said: “It has to be evil to do something like that.
“No normal person would do something like that to another human being. They stood all over him. They dragged him up and down the steps, repeatedly hit him. They savagely beat him.”
Dale suffered a horrific assault lasting 14 minutes – which continued long after he could offer any resistance or protect himself – and died in Beaumont Hospital the next day as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
On Monday, six of his attackers, who were originally charged with murder, were given jail time ranging from three to seven and a half years at the Central Criminal Court after pleading guilty to lesser charges. A seventh had his sentence suspended.
Dale’s dad Darren said watching the footage had been distressing – but he thinks the public should view it to witness the horrific beating his son had to endure.
He said: “Watching the footage, it’s even worse. Before I had seen the footage I didn’t think it was as bad as what it was. I wake up with nightmares of it.
“I’d love the public to see the footage, to see what they done. They danced on him. They picked him up, his lifeless body, and repeatedly kicked him and punched him.
“When I seen him, he was just unrecognisable. They had beaten him to a pulp, black and blue. It was that bad we couldn’t even touch him in the coffin. It was horrendous.
“I’ll never forgive them. They have a date when they are released and they are back to normal. We will never get a release date. We will never be back to normal.”
Dale had been accused of stealing a phone belonging to one of the accused, Aisling Burke, before he was confronted and beaten.
Graham Palmer, 26, was jailed for five years, Ross Callery and Jason Beresford, both 23, for six each, David Burke, 28, for seven and a half years, and Gerard Stephens, 27, was jailed for three.
Aisling Burke, 23, is to be jailed for one year for violent disorder but the judge adjourned imposition of the sentence for a week, for the mother-of-one to make childcare arrangements.
This, the judge said, was a material contributing factor in the “frenzy of the final assault.”
James Reid’s two-year sentence for possession of a knife was suspended in full after the judge said she was satisfied that he did not participate in the assault.
“The court is quite satisfied that the seven young people before the court are not evil people,” Judge Deirdre Murphy said.
However she noted that during the “prolonged and vicious” beating “not one of the seven people before the court shouted stop”.
The seven had been to the Plaza nightclub earlier with multiple free drinks included in the entrance fee. After it closed, Aisling Burke had her handbag with her phone stolen and raised a “hue and cry” with her brother David Burke.
Dale Creighton was later confronted and chased after he was reportedly seen to have a knife in his hand.
After the hearing, family spokesperson Helena D’arcy said the sentences were too lenient.

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