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Man charged with murder of mum-of-four in Waterford

Samantha Walsh
Samantha Walsh

A man has been charged with the murder of mother-of-four Samantha Walsh (31) 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 charged with the murder of Ms Walsh.

The young woman, who was from Lisduggan in Waterford city, was discovered 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 service members who were attending an alert raised by an individual at the flat.

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

Det Garda Pat Kelly told Judge Kevin Staunton 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.

Inspector 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 on Monday next.

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

Mr Morrissey also asked Judge Staunton to direct that Mr Whelan receive all medical and psychiatric treatment required while in custody, pointing out that his client was only released from University Hospital Waterford (UHW) on Saturday.

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 Garda Kelly was adamant Mr Whelan made no reply and Judge Staunton said he was so noting 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.

Ms Walsh hailed from Central Avenue in Lisduggan but had lived over recent years in both Mayo and Sligo.

Tragically, she had only moved into the flat at Thomas Street - just 100 metres from Ballybricken Garda Station - a short time ago.

Following her requiem mass, Ms Walsh will be buried in Kilbarry Cemetery.

Waterford gardaí treated Ms Walsh's death as suspicious for 24 hours before launching a murder investigation last Saturday after receiving details of the post-mortem examination conducted at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

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