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Limerick teenager dies after falling from hotel balcony in Mallorca

He had travelled to Spain to celebrate after finishing a Leaving Certificate exam paper.

THE FAMILY OF a Limerick teenager who died after a fall from a balcony in Mallorca have described him as a “wonderful young man” and said their hearts are broken by the loss.

Jack Walsh’s family had travelled from their home in Askeaton, West Limerick, to the Balearic island to say their final goodbyes.

The 19-year old triplet’s life-support machine was turned off at Son Espases University Hospital, Spain. He had fallen from a hotel balcony in the early hours of Tuesday, after arriving to the holiday resort to catch up with friends.

Days beforehand he had sat a Leaving Certificate exam paper at Colaiste Mhuire Askeaton and had travelled to Spain to celebrate finishing his studies.

Several sources confirmed the Walsh family had made the devastating decision to turn off his life-support machine yesterday evening, and that all his family, including his triplet sisters Tara and Orla, and parents, Tony and Sandra, had travelled to be with him in his final moments.

The family are now preparing to make funeral arrangements and to repatriate their son’s remains home.

Speaking about their loss, his mother Sandra said their lives will never be the same, but that “the support we have received as a family has been amazing and is a true reflection of what a wonderful young man Jack turned out to be”.

“Jack ticked the donor box on his learner license and it is a comfort knowing people are alive today as a result of Jack’s tragic accident,” she said.

“Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and wishes. Your support is really appreciated at this sad time.

“Our hearts are broken.”

‘A lovely young fella’

Tributes have been pouring in from Jack’s friends and workmates in his native West Limerick.

Jack was working as an apprentice with a Limerick electrical sub contracting company for the past eight months.

On Thursday, his manager Frank McGovern, said everyone was “really devastated” after hearing news of his fall.

He described the popular teen as “top class”, “an excellent worker” and a “lovely young fella.”

McGovern said Jack’s workmates were “very broken up” about the tragedy.

Passing on his “thoughts and prayers” to the Walsh family, he said Jack was “a valued member of the team” who had “a lot of potential”.

Francis Sheehan, Secretary of Askeaton AFC, also paid tribute, describing Jack as a “key player” in their youths soccer side.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his parents, and his sisters,” he added.

Jack’s family are well known in Limerick soccer circles. Tara and Orla Walsh have both played regularly for the Askeaton Ladies soccer team, and Tara recently participated on a soccer scholarship programme at Thomas University Night Hawks, in Thomasville, Georgia.

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Jack’s school principal at Colaiste Mhuire Askeaton, Norma O’Brien, said everyone had been “shocked” by the tragic events in Mallorca.

O’Brien said the school has put in place supports for students affected by the tragedy.

She said: “We are supporting (students) in whatever way we can, through our student support teams, and our critical incident plan.”

Jack’s friends who he joined in Mallorca, are also trying to come to terms with their sudden loss.

The group, who flew to the island last Monday, have been helping local police with their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic events of the night in question, sources said.

Their families have also travelled to Spain to comfort them.

The group, along with Jack, had been due to return home today, Friday 15 June.

“All of the youngsters out there are really upset. I feel sorry for them, it’s so tragic,” said a source.

About the author:

David Raleigh

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