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Teen died ‘after spending day looking for friend who was already dead’
July 4, 2023
A ‘devastated’ teenager reportedly died after spending the day searching for a school friend who had gone missing – only to discover he had fallen to his death from a cliff.
Max Wall and Andrew O’Donnell, both 18, were on the Greek holiday island of Ios with other school-leavers from St Michael’s College, in Dublin, Ireland. They are understood to have been on holiday celebrating completing their Leaving Certificate exams last month, when Andrew disappeared over the weekend.
Max had been so concerned about his close friend and rugby teammate that he had printed up ‘missing’ posters and had distributed them around the island. Police reportedly did not begin searching for Andrew until around 24 hours after he disappeared, which is understood to be standard procedure.
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The police search began on Sunday morning, in daylight, and officers were able to track Andrew via his mobile phone signal. Tragically, they discovered his body at the bottom of a cliff.
When Andrew’s body was found, distraught Max decided to head home. Tragically, he collapsed and died while waiting for the ferry.
Max had been left ‘devasted’ by Andrew’s death and wanted to go back to Dublin to be with his family, friends have said. Their other friends from Michael’s party are understood returning to Ireland tonight and tomorrow, when two memorial services will be held for Andrew and Max.
Tim Kelleher, senior principal at St Michael’s College, said that Max had undergone heart surgery a few years ago. He confirmed that Andrew had been in clubs drinking and left his friends early to return to their accommodation – but said he did not believe their drinks had been spiked, as had been suggested by local police.
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He said that Andrew is believed to have fallen to his death in the early hours of Saturday and was reported missing on Saturday morning. Explaining how Andrew had fallen “from an unprotected area”, Mr Kelleher told MailOnline: “If he had been a metre or two either side as he walked, he might not have fallen as there was a ridge along the route.
“This is such a tragedy. We are all traumatised. These two young men would have made their mark on the world.”
Mr Kelleher described Max and Andrew as “brilliant young men” and “great rugby players”, noting that Andrew was “also a skilled footballer who played for Belmont”.
“We should have been celebrating their successes,” said Mr Kelleher. “Instead their parents are on a ferry with two boxes containing their sons’ bodies.”
“The two were very popular and around a thousand yellow roses were put onto the coffins as they were placed on the ferry with their families. The students stayed on the port at Ios until the boat was out of sight. There is a lot of love and grief.”
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