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07th Jul 2023

Andrew O’Donnell fell to his death after taking a shortcut home on Greek island


‘He was tired because he had been travelling and did the mature, sensible thing’

Irish teenager Andrew O’Donnell made the “sensible” decision to have an early night and took a shortcut back to his accommodation before his fatal fall on the Greek island of Ios, his school principal has said.

O’Donnell and his classmate Max Wall, students of St Michael’s College in south Dublin, died within 24 hours of each other while on a holiday with classmates after completing their Leaving Certificate.

O’Donnell went missing after a night out on Friday, and it is believed that he fell after his body was found in a rocky area the next morning.

After Andrew’s body was found, Max decided to leave the island, where he later passed away at a ferry port.

According to Tim Kelleher, the principal of St Michael’s School, Andrew made the ‘sensible’ decision to go home early on Friday night before the tragic incident occurred.

“They were wrecked tired and Andrew made a very wise decision to go home early,” Kelleher told the Independent.

“He left the group and was going home to his own place when the accident happened. He was tired because he had been travelling and did the mature, sensible thing.

“You would be proud of your own kids if they said, ‘I’m checking out of here early, I’m tired’.

“He left the group and that’s the mistake we make sometimes. If you go early, you are on your own.

“He took a shortcut on the way home and unfortunately the accident happened on the way. And we are so sorry because it was a sensible decision being made.”

The two friends will be laid to rest at separate funerals in Dublin next week.

Max’s funeral mass will take place on Monday, July 10, in The Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook, Dublin.

Andrew’s funeral mass will take place next Wednesday, July 12, in The Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, followed by a private family cremation.

Friends and classmates of the students formed a guard of honour as the teenagers’ bodies left the Greek island to make their way back to Dublin.

Andrew and Max’s parents were also in Ios and accompanied their children’s coffins on a ferry to Athens where postmortems took place. The results of the postmortems are not expected for 10 days.

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