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Monday 6 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
RTE Crimecall Andrew Dolan's mother recalled the night in December 2011 when her son was assaulted.
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"I shouldn’t be putting flowers on Andrew’s grave" - A mother's plea to young Irish men
Mother of a young man who died in an assault has pleaded with young men to think of the consequences of their actions.

THE MOTHER OF a young man who died after an assault during a night out has pleaded with young men to think about the consequences of violent actions.

Andrew Dolan was at a fast-food restaurant in Mullingar with his friends when he was viciously attacked by three people. The six blows to the head the 23-year-old received resulted in serious brain damage, and he died ten days later on New Year’s Day, 2011.

A man and woman in their 20s were acquitted of Dolan’s manslaughter, getting community service in lieu of a prison sentence, and another male is now serving a three-year sentence for Andrew Dolan’s manslaughter.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Crimecall tonight while holding a picture of her son, mother Rosie Dolan told host Keelin Shanley of the “horrific” moment they were given the news, but that they still thought “he’ll be okay”.

“The phone call coming through at three o’clock in the morning saying that something happened to my son and to get there as quick as we could up to Mullingar. Horrific, absolutely horrific.

But we still thought maybe he’ll be okay, maybe it’s only a cut nose or something like that and when we arrived up he was sitting up in the bed in Mullingar Hospital.

“The dangerous thing with a head injury is you can come back around again and then the swelling starts and he just deteriorated. We were rushed up to Beaumont Hospital and ten days later he died.”

She also said that her son was not the only young victim of violence at Christmas time that year:

In Beaumont, there were three Andrews there. That was Christmas 2011, there were three people who’d been assaulted in that unit at that time. Three people dying over Christmas, it was just horrific for us.

‘A punch can kill’

In the interview, Rosie described her son as ”gentle, witty, academically very good, and he loved sports”.

ANDREWDOLAN-4 RTÉ Crimecall RTÉ Crimecall

She said that Andrew had hoped to go on and study medicine, and that he and his best friend had plans to set up a practice in Scotland, where they’d been on holiday.

“So his hope for the future has been robbed from him.”

Andrew shouldn’t be dead, I shouldn’t be putting flowers on Andrew’s grave. And I would plead with people today to realise that a punch can and does kill.

Rosie pleaded to young men to think about their actions and the effect they may have, and asked people to look after one another when they’re on nights out:

“I think friends have a responsibility when they’re out to call halt, to maybe get a taxi for someone home and get them home if they think they can’t control themselves.”

Earlier this month, An Garda Síochána launched the campaign ’Use Your Brain Not Your Fists’, which aims to give young men information about the consequences of assaulting another person – losing your job, ability to travel and jail time.

Read: Free after 110 days: Irish citizen released from Iranian prison

Read: 15-year-old boy went on rampage with car he bought online, court told

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