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04th Jul 2023

Hundreds of teenagers leave Greek island following the two tragic deaths

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Hundreds of devastated students are leaving the Greek island of Ios today and tomorrow following the tragic deaths of two Leaving Cert students.

Local police confirmed that there are two separate inquiries underway following the deaths of two 18-year-old classmates, Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall.

The two were on a Leaving Cert holiday with fellow classmates from St Michael’s College in Dublin when they sadly died in separate incidents.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One, Tánaiste Micheál Martin yesterday said: “It is devastating and the most traumatic news that any parent could hear and it is every parent’s nightmare and many of our sons and daughters go abroad after Leaving Certificates and after exams.

“Obviously many of their friends are out there in Ios and it’s a very, very difficult time for them now and we just ask them to look after each other over the next number of days and in the difficult time ahead.”

School principal Tim Kelleher has now said that he has been informed by Martin that there are currently 1,000 students on the island, with 90 of them from St Michael’s College.

Following the news of the two deaths, many now are leaving the island after being traumatised by the news.

He told The Irish Examiner: “They all want to leave. They were traumatised and people were saying I want to get home.

“South Dublin is a small parish, all the schools know each other, they play against each other, they are friends with each other, there are older siblings and friends all over the area who are deeply devastated.

“When something like this happens there is a lot of hysteria, and a lot of fear and parents are ringing, and everyone is traumatised especially the boys who were with Andrew and Max. They are traumatised. They just want to come home and will be all home in the next 48 hours.”