Andrew O’Donnell: Irish student who died in Ios, ‘a keen rugby player, star of soccer team, gregarious and fun’

Greece death: Tributes paid to St Michael’s past pupil by school principal, Old Belvedere Rugby Club and Leinster Supporters’ Club, among others

Andrew O’Donnell, who has died in Greece, will be remembered for his “gregarious, and fun-loving nature,” by St Michael’s College principal Tim Kelleher.

He was one of two children of Bebhinn and Gavin O’Donnell, with a younger brother Rory. His parents have travelled out to the Greek island of Ios.

The teenager was from the Sandymount/Ringsend area of Dublin. He was a final-year student who had just completed his Leaving Cert at St Michael’s Secondary School, in Ballsbridge, Dublin. Along with school friends he had flown out late last week to the island for a post-Leaving Cert examinations holiday.

Mr O’Donnell had been reported missing for several hours and his body was discovered on rocky ground on Sunday morning. He had suffered a tragic accident on the way home from a night out.


His remains showed signs of him having fallen, but it was unclear whether the fall had been from a height.

The 18-year-old and his family were highly involved in the Old Belvedere Rugby Club and their mini players. Andrew and his brother Rory played with the mini players.

Mr Kelleher described the teenager as “a keen rugby player and one of the stars of the school’s soccer team, gregarious and fun”.

In a tribute, Old Belvedere Rugby Club chairman Nick Fingleton said they were “deeply saddened” to hear of the devastating news of the passing of Andrew and Max Wall over the weekend.

In a statement, Mr Fingleton continued: “Our deepest sympathies and condolences go to Bebhinn, Gavin and Rory at this time. Both Andrew and Rory are former mini players, and their parents Bebhinn and Gavin were very involved in the minis for several years.

“We hope they find the strength and courage to deal with the incredible sorrow at this time. We further extend our sympathies to the family and friends of Max Wall who also passed away on what should have been a joyous and celebratory holiday for both boys.”

Mr Fingleton said that the club’s thoughts and prayers were with both families, friends and classmates in St Michael’s College as they come to terms with this tragedy.

The Leinster Supporters’ Club also offered their condolences to the young man’s family and friends.

They said: “We are saddened to tell you that teenager Andrew O’Donnell who died in Ios, Greece, is the son of our OLSC [Official Leinster Supporters Club] president Bebhinn.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Bebhinn, Gavin and Rory, extended family, friends and school friends. Our thoughts are also with the family and friends of Max Wall who also lost his life in Ios. Two young lives gone far too soon.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times