Road victim was due to fly home to spend Christmas with family hours after tragedy
A respected psychiatrist who died in a suspected hit and run was walking back to his Cork airport hotel in horrific weather conditions after being apparently unable to hail a taxi.
In a cruel twist of fate, the vehicle suspected to have struck Dr Martin Lawlor (49) shortly after 5am on Saturday was a taxi.
The father of three had been scheduled to fly back to England a few hours later to spend Christmas with his family.
Dr Lawlor, who worked for the HSE but also undertook psychiatric consultancy work in northern England, was the director of the Centre for Recovery and Social Inclusion in Ireland and a founder of State of Mind Ireland.
UCC School of Education director Dr Fiona Chambers hailed him a "champion of mental health".
Dr Lawlor was originally from Tralee, Co Kerry, but had been based in recent years in Manchester. He was an advocate of mental health awareness in sports organisations and worked with Kerins O'Rahilly's GAA Club in Tralee.
He died from multiple injuries sustained in the collision on the N27 Cork Airport road.
The vehicle did not remain at the scene. A man in his 60s, the driver of a taxi, was later arrested in connection with the incident and questioned before being released without charge.
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.