Psychiatrist hit by car on airport road, inquest told

Gardaí awaiting DPP’s directions on fatal hit-and-run in Cork

Gardaí have forwarded a file to the DPP following an investigation into the death of a consultant psychiatrist in a hit-and-run incident last Christmas and are currently awaiting a decision on charges, an inquest has heard.

Insp Ronan Kennelly told the inquest into the death of father of three, Dr Martin Lawlor (49) that gardaí had compiled a detailed file on the hit-and-run and expected a decision from the DPP on charges within weeks.

Coroner for South Cork, Frank O'Connell heard evidence from Det Garda Brid Norris that Dr Lawlor was walking up the Airport Road in Cork some time after 5am on December 15th 2018 when he was hit by a car.

She told the inquest that gardaí received a phone call at 5.41am on December 15th to report that there was a body on the Airport Road between Forge Hill and the entrance to the airport and gardaí responded immediately.


Garda Jeremy O'Leary arrived at the scene at 5.45am and found the body of a man and he found a wallet containing a driving licence which confirmed he was Dr Martin Lawlor with an address at Claramore, Millstreet, Co Cork.

Dr Lawlor was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was removed to Cork University Hospital where Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis carried out a post-mortem examination the following day.

Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster presented Dr Curtis's findings at the inquest and told the court that Dr Lawlor had suffered multiple catastrophic injuries which would have proved instantly fatal.

She said that toxicology tests showed that Dr Lawlor had a blood alcohol concentration of 156mgs of alcohol per 100mls of blood and that the cause of death was multiple injuries consistent with a pedestrian being struck by a car.

Insp Kennelly applied to Mr O'Connell under Section 25 of the Coroner's Act to have the inquest adjourned to allow criminal proceedings to take place and Mr O'Connell adjourned the case until April 28th for mention.

Mr O’Connell extended his deepest sympathies to Dr Lawlor’s widow, Helen and her family on their loss which happened he said in most unfortunate circumstances while Insp Kennelly commiserated on behalf of the Garda Siochana.

A native of Tralee in Co Kerry, Dr Lawlor worked in Cork with HSE South and had been Director of the Centre for Recovery and Social Inclusion (CRSI) in Cork since 2006 and the programme lead on the State of Mind Ireland project.

Dr Lawlor and his wife, who is a native of Millstreet in Co Cork, lived in Manchester with their three children and it is understood he was due to catch a flight from Cork back to the UK early on the morning of December 15th.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times