School leaver 'dies in shock' hours after friend 'suffers deadly fall' while holidaying in Greece

3 July 2023, 14:51 | Updated: 3 July 2023, 14:55

Andrew O’Donnell (left) and Max Wall (right)
Andrew O’Donnell (left) and Max Wall (right). Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

A school leaver is believed to have died in shock after his friend suffered a fatal fall while on holiday in Greece.

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Andrew O'Donnell and Max Wall, both 18, had just graduated from St Michael's College secondary school in Ireland and travelled to the Greek island of Ios with a group of friends.

Andrew was reported missing after being separated from friends on the way home from a night out on Saturday.

His body was discovered the next morning on rocks in a field, showing signs he had slipped and hit his head, according to the Mirror.

Max, who is believed to have a history of heart problems, collapsed near the island's port on the same afternoon after hearing about his friend.

A regional police officer, speaking anonymously, told the outlet: "We understand that Max who was discovered in the port had a history of heart problems.

"Friends who were with him described him collapsing on hearing about Andrew. They were close.

"This is about as near as it gets to an ancient Greek tragedy."

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Andrew O’Donnell
Andrew O’Donnell. Picture: Social media

Tributes have poured in for the two teenage boys, with Irish deputy premier Micheal Martin saying the deaths were every parent's nightmare.

"I think we're all devastated at the loss of such young lives with such great potential, Andrew O'Donnell and Max Wall," he told RTE.

"And our deepest sympathies go to their parents, to their families and to the entire school community of St Michael's."

Principal of St Michael's College Tim Kelleher said representatives of the school's parent association had flown to the Greek island to support the families.

"We're absolutely devastated, the entire community is reeling with the news over the last 24 hours.

"Our deepest sympathies and condolences go to the bereaved families, some of the parents association reps have flown out to the island to give them some support in their time of need," he said.

Max Wall
Max Wall. Picture: Social media

St Michael's College released an initial statement about the death of Andrew before later confirming Max had also died.

"On a day of immense sadness for the school, we have been notified of another devastating loss from the class of 2023, with the passing of Max Wall," it said.

"Max was a constant source of positivity, encouragement and fun for all of those around him.

"He was extremely popular with staff and students alike, and a fantastic supporter of our teams during the various cup campaigns (as well as a great brother to past pupil, Charlie).

"Our thoughts are with Max's family at this awful time and with his friends who have experienced such shocking loss over the last 24 hours."

In an earlier statement, the school said that Andrew "was not only a popular classmate and friend, but a proud and committed member of our football team".

"He was kind to those around him, honest in all of his endeavours, and a great brother to Rory (Transition Year).

"Andrew will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

"Our thoughts are with Andrew's family and friends at this extremely difficult time."

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman confirmed it is aware of both cases and is providing consular assistance.

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