Postmortems on bodies of Dublin teenagers who died in Greece to take place on Wednesday

Bodies of Leaving Cert students Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall, who died on the Greek island of Ios, will be released for repatriation after postmortems

The postmortems on the bodies of Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall, the Dublin teenagers who died within 24 hours of each other while on a holiday on the Greek island of Ios at the weekend, will take place on Wednesday, an official at the forensic office confirmed.

Earlier on Tuesday morning the bodies of the two boys were taken off the island by ferry.

Hundreds of Irish students lined the road down to the port, with the group of St Michael’s College classmates standing in a guard of honour and placing yellow roses on the coffins as a sign of friendship.

A small bouquet of flowers was laid in the area where Mr O’Donnell’s body was found after falling. The site is off a path at the back of a hotel on the outskirts of the main town of Hora, where the terrain is a steep slope down a rocky hill.


Separately, a bunch of flowers were placed on the side street where it is believed Mr Wall collapsed down at the island’s port, in the hours after Mr O’Donnell’s body was found.

Locals on the island have reacted with a mixture of shock and sadness at the news two young men had died in such a short space of time.

Dionysios Lagios (41), who works in a restaurant along the Ios pier during the summer months, said teenage Irish holidaymakers were “fine” customers.

Ios appeared to increasingly be a popular destination as a “party island” for big groups, compared to previous years, he said.

At 18 years of age, young people would often only think of “having fun”, but he said groups needed to be careful on nights out socialising.

Mr Lagios said he had spoken with boys in the group from St Michael’s as they were handing out missing person posters of Mr O’Donnell on Saturday evening.

Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he wished to extend condolences from the Government to the families, friends and school communities of Mr O’Donnell and Mr Wall.

Mr Varadkar said it was “every parent’s worst nightmare and a devastating event to happen for young men who were starting off in the next chapters of their lives”.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with them,” he said. “The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance through the embassy in Athens and two members of An Garda Síochána have been sent now to Greece to provide assistance and we will assist the families in any way that we can.”

Ios map

Tim Kelleher, St Michael’s College principal, said it was expected all of the group from the school on the trip would be home from Greece by Thursday, with many originally having flights home booked for Wednesday.

Elaine Ryan, a member of the parents’ association who had flown to Ios in the aftermath of the tragedy, said local Irish people living on the island had provided “utterly amazing support”.

The boys’ Leaving Cert holiday had been “long planned and looked forward to” and was supposed to have been a “brilliant start to a new life full of opportunity”, she said.

“We are so proud of Andrew and Max, but so devastated by how just 24 hours can utterly change the course for two beautiful families,” she said in a statement.

The official at the Piraeus office, who did not want to be named, said he expected the postmortems to be completed within the day. The bodies would then be released to their families for repatriation.

The official was unable to say when the results of the postmortems would be issued. Greek media outlets reported that the remains of the two men were being transported by ferry from Ios to Piraeus, the main port of Athens, on Tuesday.

The forensic office official confirmed he expected to receive the remains of the two men at his office on Tuesday.

Andrew O’Donnell (18) and Max Wall (18), former students at St Michael's College, were on a post-exam holiday on the Greek island of Ios when they died in separate incidences

Gardaí were dispatched to the Greek island of Ios to help in the investigations into the deaths of the two Irish teenagers.

Mr O’Donnell and Mr Wall, both aged 18 and both students of St Michael’s College in south Dublin, died within 24 hours of each other while on a holiday with classmates celebrating the end of the Leaving Certificate.

Initial indications suggest Mr O’Donnell died as a result of a fall sustained as he returned from a night out. Mr Wall participated in the search for Mr O’Donnell and collapsed suddenly at the island’s port shortly after his classmate’s body was found on rocky ground on Sunday morning.

It is understood Mr Wall previously had health issues with his heart, with one source confirming he had a successful heart operation about three years ago. It is likely the postmortem, which will take place in Athens, will investigate whether these prior health issues could have been a contributory factor in his death.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times

Damian Mac Con Uladh

Damian Mac Con Uladh

Damian Mac Con Uladh is a contributor to The Irish Times based in Athens

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times