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Tributes to 'bright, sporting young men' after deaths of two Dublin students on Greek island

Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall were on holiday on the island after completing their exams.

LAST UPDATE | 3 Jul 2023

REPRESENTATIVES OF ST. MICHAEL’s College in Ballsbridge have paid their respects to Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall, two recently graduated secondary school students who died on the Greek island of Ios over the weekend.

Andrew and Max were on holiday on the island after completing their exams and were confirmed to have died in separate incidents.

Tributes have been paid to the two teenagers, with flowers left outside the gates of their school.

The principal of the private school, Tim Kelleher, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland

“We’re absolutely devastated in our community after hearing the news in the past 24 hours.”

“We are heartbroken, we have a very tight knit community and these are two young men with their whole lives ahead of them, bright sporting young men,” he said.

Kelleher added that a book of condolences for Andrew and Max had been opened by the school and that counselling services were available to classmates to had been impacted by the tragedies.

“We’re open all this week and we are expecting large numbers of our boys to return in the next 48 hours from their holidays and the school will be their community, their focal point over the next days and weeks.”

“I think there are hundreds and hundreds of families this morning plunged into deep, deep sadness because of what has occurred.”

1101St Michaels College Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie / RollingNews.ie

Andrew O’Donnell, who recently turned 18, reportedly went missing on Friday night, and his body was later located in a rocky area outside the island’s main town yesterday morning.

Max Wall, is understood to have been transported to a hospital by ambulance, where he was pronounced dead yesterday.

It is understood that the two incidents are separate. 

Tánaiste Micheál Martin paid his respects to Andrew and Max this morning, stating:

“My deepest sympathies to the families of Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall on the very sad loss of their beloved sons. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the St. Michael’s College community, their friends and classmates.”

He added that the Embassy of Ireland in Athens is providing consular support and a consular officer is on the island of Ios.

Tom McCormack, a past president of the college union, told Morning Ireland that “yesterday was the darkest day in the history of St. Michael’s College”.

“Our thoughts are with the families and the boys of the class of ’23. It was a devastating day, we’ve been heartened by the huge volume of messages of support from ministers, councillors, senators and other schools.”

Minister for Further & Higher Education Simon Harris stated last night that the news of both deaths was “devastating”.

“Thinking of the families & friends of Andrew and Max and all Leaving Cert students abroad in Greece who were enjoying holidays after exams and are now encountering such shock and pain and grief. I know we all hold them in our hearts tonight,” he said.

Kelleher told Morning Ireland that Andrew was a great sportsman who was “academically bright, the world was his oyster.”

“He was looking forward to college, to a great future”

“Max was a fantastic sportsman as well, really passionate about his rugby. A very bright academic young man as well.”

“Unfortunately, both families got the news yesterday that their future has been taken from them and we’re obviously devastated for them,” he said.

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