Postmortem in London next week on Irish student

Police believe 18-year-old Galway man Patrick Halpin made his way on to roof from Burger King restaurant in London’s Leicester Square

Patrick Halpin: CCTV footage showed student entering restaurant

Patrick Halpin: CCTV footage showed student entering restaurant


Patrick Halpin, the 18-year-old Galway student found dead on a roof in London’s Leicester Square, is believed to have gained access to it after becoming confused.

A postmortem will be carried out early next week in London, although it could be over a week before his remains are released to his family.

His father Paddy, and 22-year-old sister Regina, who had travelled to London after the alarm was raised on Wednesday afternoon, last night returned to Ireland.

The youth had left fellow Dublin City University students gathered in the Zoo Bar on Bear Street, off Leicester Square, shortly after midnight on Tuesday, saying he wanted to get some food. He walked less than 20 metres to the Burger King restaurant, where he was recorded by CCTV entering the building, before sight was lost of him.

“At this early stage officers believe he may have gained access to the roof of the restaurant before being discovered on a lower, usually inaccessible, roof area,” the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers have spoken with his father and sister, though a formal identification is awaited. The postmortem will be held next week, although a date has yet to be set.

“The incident is not being treated as suspicious at this early stage, but officers retain an open mind,” the Metropolitan Police went on.

So far, questions have been raised as to how the Halpin family was told on Thursday that their son had checked in at Gatwick Airport.

His father and sister rushed to the airport, only to have their hopes dashed after it emerged that his name had been spotted as part of a group booking by the students.

Initially, it was understood that Mr Halpin may have gained access to the roof through an external stairs, although this is blocked off half-way up by a steel door and steel netting, where entry would only be possible if the door had been open.

However, last night, the Metropolitan Police said its belief is that Mr Halpin made his way to the roof from inside the Burger King restaurant, although the full chain of events will not be detailed until an investigation is complete.