Obscenities shouted, bottle thrown at Tipperary man at murder court appearance

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Angry scenes erupted in court on Monday when a Co Tipperary man accused of killing a mother of four appeared on a murder charge.

Danny Whelan (25) of no fixed abode but formerly of Thomas Street, Waterford, and originally from Thurles in Co Tipperary is accused of murdering Samantha Walsh at an unknown time between April 27 and April 28 last.

He was making his second appearance at Waterford district court in relation to the allegation, having been charged on Monday night of last week at the garda station, following question.

Several members of the public shouted obscenities at the accused when he was brought into the courtroom by prison officers and gardaí just after 11.30am on Monday morning.

One person threw a plastic bottle in Danny Whelan’s direction and about 15 people left their seats and attempted to get at the accused.

Among the remarks shouted at Danny Whelan were “bastard” and “I hope you rot in hell” along with other obscenities. Over a dozen gardaí immediately intervened to prevent anyone getting at the accused, who was quickly taken out of the courtroom, and it was a couple of minutes before calm was restored. 

Judge Kevin Staunton left the courtroom while the trouble was ongoing.

Gardaí removed those involved from the building and they waited outside during the court adjournment.

The judge returned to the courtroom at about 11.50am and the first case taken was Danny Whelan’s remand appearance. He was brought back in by prison staff and stood against a side wall during the brief hearing, not called upon to speak.

One woman who had remained in the room became upset and shouted at the accused before leaving of her own accord, followed by another woman who also shouted at the accused and then left.

“Emotions are high,” Judge Staunton said. 

Mr Whelan’s solicitor, Colin Morrissey, said there was consent to a further remand in custody, for a month, to allow the State prepare a book of evidence.

Inspector Stephen O’Sullivan applied for this remand and Judge Staunton granted the application, adjourning the case until June 6.

Samantha Walsh was found dead in an apartment on Thomas Street, Waterford city, on the afternoon of Friday, April 28, by emergency personnel after a man raised the alarm.

A post-mortem examination confirmed she had been assaulted.

She was buried on Tuesday of last week in Kilbarry cemetery on the edge of Waterford city. She was originally from Lisduggan in Waterford.

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