Gardai have released without charge a man in his 20s who was involved in a two-car collision over the Bank Holiday Weekend which claimed the lives of two Waterford city residents.
Twenty-four year-old Brendan Donnelly, of Beech Drive, Greenfields in Waterford, and 26-year-old father of one Lee Salkeld, Fairfield Park, Old Tramore Road, were the front- and rear-seat passengers in a Volkswagen Polo which was involved in a collision with a Ford Mondeo travelling on the N25 at Caherulton, Castlemartyr, Co Cork, at around 2.45am on Monday.
They and their girlfriends, Laura Connolly and Kate Flynn, were travelling from Waterford to Cork Airport to catch a 7am flight to Amsterdam when the collision occurred. The two girls, both of whom are from the city, remain in a stable condition at Cork University Hospital.
The sole occupant of the Ford Mondeo is understood to have left the scene of the crash on foot but was arrested shortly afterwards at Ballinacurra, Midleton, on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death. It is understood that a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions on the incident.
The deceased, who had been friends for a number of years, worked together at local call centre Rigney Dolphin, along with Mr Salkeld’s partner Kate.
The four-day trip to Amsterdam had been organised to celebrate the recent birth of Lee and Kate’s daughter, Sasha Leigh. Mr Salkeld, an only child, was originally from Britain.
Mr Donnelly, a native of Birr, Co Offaly, moved to Waterford about five years ago to study Photography and Social Studies and had worked at both Geoff’s and the Showboat bars. He and Ms Connolly, from Barrack Street, recently bought their first home together, at Greenfields on the Old Tramore Road. His removal took place to St Brendan’s Church, Birr on Wednesday evening, with funeral Mass and burial on Thursday morning. Mr Donnelly is survived by his mother Christine, his brother Sean and his partner Laura.