A 28-year-old man from Cork has been sentenced to five years in jail and disqualified from driving for 15 years.

Anthony Long, 28, from Leamlara, in Co Cork, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the death of Brendan Donnelly, 24, and his friend Lee Salkeld, 26.

The two friends and their partners, Laura Connolly and Katie Flynn, were on their way to Cork Airport from Waterford in the early hours of 26 October 2009 when Lane was seen driving on the wrong side of the road like 'a bat out of hell'.

Ms Connolly, who was driving, tried to avoid a collision but Long's Ford Mondeo car collided with the passenger side of her Volkswagen Polo.

In a victim impact statement to Cork Circuit Criminal Court, she told how upset she was that Long walked away, while she had to ring 999 with 'her soulmate slumped' on her shoulder, knowing he was dead.

Earlier, the court heard that Long, a builder and a married father of two young children, had been drinking since 3pm the previous afternoon.

He had consumed 13 beers at home before heading to a fancy dress party in a pub in Midleton, where he drank a further seven pints, two vodkas, three 'aftershock' cocktails and did a line of cocaine.

Gardaí found him after the collision walking near Ballinacurra, several kilometres from the site of the crash.

Long told the court that words would never truly, deeply say how sorry he was and how he will never forgive himself for what he had done.

Both of the dead men's mothers made poignant victim impact statements to the court.

Mr Salkeld's mother Sandra Purcell said she had attempted suicide in the aftermath of his death and no parent should have to go through the death of their only child.

Mr Donnelly's mother Christina said how when she visited his 'resting place' she rings his old number, knowing it will never be answered, just to hear his voice.

She pleaded with motorists not to drink drive.

Judge Patrick Moran accepted that Long was very remorseful but said he had consumed a considerable quantity of alcohol and had left the scene.

He said: 'Perhaps you were concussed, but you left those unfortunate ladies on their own with their dead partners.'

Leave to appeal was not granted.