herald

Monday 22 May 2017

Man (28) charged with murder of young mum Samantha in city flat

Samantha Walsh
Samantha Walsh

A man has been charged with the murder of mother-of-four Samantha Walsh in a Waterford city apartment.

Danny Whelan (28), of no fixed abode but who is originally from Thurles, Co Tipperary, appeared before Waterford District Court yesterday.

The 31-year-old victim, from Lisduggan, in Waterford city, was found unresponsive in a bedroom of a flat in Ballybricken at 3pm last Friday.

She was pronounced dead at the scene despite desperate efforts to revive her by emergency services, who had been alerted by an individual at the flat.

Mr Whelan is charged with the murder of Ms Walsh at Thomas Street, Waterford, at a time unknown between April 27 and 28.

Det Gda Pat Kelly told Judge Kevin Staunton that he arrested, cautioned and charged Mr Whelan at Waterford Garda Station.

He told the court that Mr Whelan made no reply when the charge was formally put to him.

As it is a murder charge, bail cannot be dealt with by the District Court and must be handled by the High Court.

Insp Tony Lonergan applied for Mr Whelan to be remanded in custody.

Judge Staunton remanded Mr Whelan in custody to appear again before Waterford District Court next Monday.

Defence solicitor Colin Morrissey applied for free legal aid, stressing that his client is currently in receipt of social welfare.

Psychiatric

Mr Morrissey asked Judge Staunton to direct that Mr Whelan receive all medical and psychiatric treatment required while in custody.

He pointed out that his client was only released from University Hospital Waterford on Saturday, having been admitted on Friday.

Mr Morrissey also pointed out that his client maintains he replied "not guilty" when the charge was formally put to him, rather than making no reply.

Det Gda Kelly was adamant that Mr Whelan made no reply and Judge Staunton said he was noting that in his record.

Mr Whelan appeared in court wearing a black and grey Puma tracksuit. He did not speak during the brief hearing.

The court hearing took place as Ms Walsh's Requiem Mass was held at St Paul's Church in Lisduggan.

She was from Central Avenue in Lisduggan but had lived in both Mayo and Sligo in recent years.

She had only recently moved into the flat at Thomas Street, which is 100 metres from Waterford Garda Station.

Following the Requiem Mass, she was to be buried in Kilbarry Cemetery.

Gardai treated Ms Walsh's death as suspicious for 24 hours before launching a murder investigation last Saturday, after receiving details of the post-mortem by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

That examination indicated that the young mother had met a violent death.

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