Postmortems concluded on bodies of Irish teenagers who died in Greece

Remains of Leaving Cert students Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall, who died in Ios, are set to be released for repatriation after autopsies

The full autopsy and toxicological results of the postmortems on two Dublin students who died in separate incidents on the Greek Island of Ios last weekend will not be ready for a week to 10 days, a police spokesperson in Greece has said.

Captain Konstantina Dimoglidou, of the Greek Police headquarters in Athens, said the force would issue a statement on the results when they were completed.

She confirmed that the autopsies on Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall, both 18, were conducted in Piraeus, near Athens, Wednesday and that she expected the bodies of the two former St Michael’s College, Ballsbridge, students to be returned to their families on Thursday.

However, another police officer with knowledge of the case told The Irish Times that the autopsy found that Mr O’Donnell died from a fall from a height in which he suffered concussion to the brain.


In the case of Mr Wall, the death resulted from a heart problem, he said.

An official at the forensics department in Piraeus, Athens, where the postmortems were conducted, added that samples from the bodies would be sent to the University of Crete for toxicological analysis.

Upon completion of the examinations, death certificates for the two former St Michael’s College students can be issued and arrangements to repatriate the bodies can be made.

It is understood that repatriation can take place before the results of the toxicological tests come through – which the forensics official said would take some days.

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.

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 will investigate whether these prior health issues could have been a contributory factor in his death.

How tragedy unfolded on the Greek Island of Ios

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Ios map
Damian Mac Con Uladh

Damian Mac Con Uladh

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