Friday 20 September 2019

'Everyone is in shock' - man (40s) who died in traffic collision named locally

Stock (Niall Carson/PA)
Stock (Niall Carson/PA)

Ralph Riegel

A PEDESTRIAN killed in a traffic collision in Cork has been named locally as a well-known psychiatrist and mental health campaigner.

Dr Martin Lawlor, who is in his late 40s, died from injuries sustained in a road traffic collision on the N27 Cork Airport road at 5.30am today.

A man in his 60s, the driver of a taxi, was later arrested in connection with the incident under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

The driver was taken to Togher Garda Station where he was questioned and subsequently released from custody.

It is understood the vehicle was stopped nearby by Gardaí at a routine Christmas road safety checkpoint and officers queried the cause of visible damage to the vehicle's front and windscreen.

A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) on the incident.

It is understood the vehicle did not remain at the scene of the collision.

Togher Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to the collision which occurred between 5am and 5.45am in extremely poor weather conditions on the main approach road from the Kinsale roundabout to Cork Airport.

Anyone who witnessed the accident or who may have information or dash cam footage is asked to contact Togher Garda Station on (021) 4947120 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.

A full post mortem examination was scheduled to be carried out tonight at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

Gardaí want to clarify Dr Lawlor's movements with extensive forensic tests being conducted on the stretch of the N27 involved.

Dr Lawlor had practised in both Ireland and the UK.

His family are understood to be currently resident in the north of England with the psychiatrist commuting between assignments in Ireland and the UK.

He is a father of three with family links to both north Cork and Kerry.

A highly respected psychiatrist, he had worked closely with the Health Service Executive (HSE) over recent years on various mental health campaigns.

Dr Lawlor was a director of State of Mind Ireland (SMI) which is focused on helping destigmatise mental health issues.

State of Mind was founded in the UK in 2011 and has emerged as a leading think tank on mental health treatment issues.

One HSE source described Dr Lawlor as one of the most respected mental health experts in both Ireland and the UK.

"Everyone is in shock," she said.

"It is a terrible tragedy but particularly given the time of year."

"Our hearts go out to his family and colleagues. It is so desperately sad."

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