Community mourns as young chemical engineer laid to rest

A young Waterford man who died in Co Cork after possibly taking a deadly drug was laid to rest yesterday.

Michael Coleman, from Ballinclamper in Ballinacourty, Dungarvan, along with his friend Liam Coffey of Coolagurtwee in Cappoquin, Co Waterford, were found dead by Michael’s girlfriend Ciara at their house in Kinsale at about 6.30am on Sunday.

The couple had been living in the rented house on Abbey Lane for a short time. Mr Coleman had only recently started a job as a chemical engineer in Eli Lilly at Dunderrow.

Autopsies by assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster indicated that the deaths are drug-related, while toxicology results have yet to be released.

The HSE moved on Tuesday to warn of a suspected bad batch of a brown substance containing ecstasy in the South.

It is thought that a substance containing (MDMA) ecstasy and one of its close cousins (PMMA) could have led to the men’s deaths early on Sunday.

Mr Coleman reposed in his family home before removal for burial yesterday. Fr Timothy O’Riordan led a private requiem Mass to a congregation of about 80 people at St Augustine’s Church in Abbeyside at 11am yesterday.

He was buried at the adjoining cemetery.

A past pupil of St Augustine’s College in Dungarvan, Michael is the son of Kevin, a lecturer at the Cork Institute of Technology, and local school teacher Ann. He is also survived by his younger brother, Shane.

His friend Liam, a keen hurler and footballer for Affane Cappoquin Football Club, is survived by his parents, Richard and Fionnula, along with twin sisters Tina and Bree.

The families of the men have appealed for privacy during the burials.

A minute’s silence was held for Mr Coffey at a game on Sunday.

Waterford county councillor and Dungarvan town councillor Billy Kyne yesterday said: “The whole community and county stand behind the families at this traumatic and tragic time.

“The community wishes to show its solidarity and sends its condolences to the loved ones and extended families of the two young men.”

Three young Waterford men have died from suspected drug-related deaths in recent days.

Meanwhile, gardaí are satisfied that the suspected drug-related death of David Wilkinson, 30, at Bishops Field in Waterford City on Monday night is unrelated to the Cork deaths.

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