| 18°C Dublin

First victim in double killer-drug tragedy laid to rest

Close

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Michael Coleman at St Augustine's Church, Dungarvan, yesterday

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Michael Coleman at St Augustine's Church, Dungarvan, yesterday

Michael Coleman
with his girlfriend Ciara
Drummey who discovered
the dead bodies of Mr
Coleman and his friend
Liam Coffey on
Sunday

Michael Coleman with his girlfriend Ciara Drummey who discovered the dead bodies of Mr Coleman and his friend Liam Coffey on Sunday

/

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Michael Coleman at St Augustine's Church, Dungarvan, yesterday

CLEVER, witty and in love; Michael Coleman had the world at his feet.

After moving into a cottage by the seaside in Kinsale, Co Cork, with his long-term girlfriend, Ciara Drummey, he was blissfully happy.

The first-class honours graduate had just landed his first job as a qualified chemical engineer.

Life couldn't get any better for the 22-year-old until tragedy struck in the early hours of Sunday morning when he and his friend, Liam Coffey, made a mistake that cost them their lives.

Gardai believe they may have taken an ecstasy-based killer drug. The brown powder is a mix of ecstasy or methylamphetamine (MDMA) and paramethoxymethamphetamine (PMMA).

Yesterday, his grief-stricken parents, Kevin and Ann, looked on in despair.

Kevin, a lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology, and local school teacher, Ann, are living every parent's nightmare. Michael's teenage brother, Shane, was being comforted by the family's friends and relatives.

Mourners crowded outside St Augustine's Church in Abbeyside, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, for the funeral Mass led by Fr Timothy O'Riordan.

Ms Drummey looked inconsolable as she stared at her boyfriend's coffin in disbelief.

Mr Coleman and his friend, Liam, are believed to have taken the drug while celebrating Michael's new job.

Yesterday, mourners who gathered for the funeral heard how he was a son any parent would have been proud of.

He was remembered as "devoted" to Ciara, his girlfriend of three years. The couple were described as "inseparable".

"He was devoted to Ciara, who loved him dearly," Michael's uncle, Martin Coleman told the tearful congregation. "He was clever, he was witty, and he had his own sense of style," he added.

Prayers were said for the young man at his family home in Ballinclamper, Ballinacourty on Tuesday night, before yesterday's Mass.

"He succeeded in all he set out to do," Mr Coleman's uncle added. "He did well in school achieving a first-class honours degree. . . and produced an award-winning research project. He was so much more, a son anyone would be proud of."

Relatives and friends have been calling to the home of Michael's parents since news of the deaths emerged. His girlfriend, Ciara, was among the first to visit. She had gone to bed early on the night of the tragedy but awoke to the horrific discovery.

It is understood Liam's family also attended the service. Mr Coffey, who is from Coolagurtwee near Cappoquin in Co Waterford, is survived by his parents, Richard and Fionnuala, along with twin sisters Tina and Bree.

His remains will be laid to rest today after Mass at 11am in the St John The Baptist Church, Affane.

Meanwhile, gardai have released without charge four people arrested as part of a probe into the supply of drugs to Mr Coleman and Mr Coffey. They are now preparing a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions on the matter.

Irish Independent