Parents of Irish student who died in a fall on Greek holiday island say ‘he was a force of nature’

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The parents of an Irish student who died on the Greek holiday island of Ios described their son as a ‘force of nature’ whose loss is a ‘profound cruelty’ at his funeral in Dublin today.

Max Wall, 18, tragically collapsed and died shortly after finding out that his missing schoolmate Andrew O’Donnell, also 18, had been found dead after a night out.

The teenager from south Dublin was ‘robbed of a bright future’, his father Niall told mourners at a funeral service in Donnybrook on Monday.

‘Max was full of life … He had a real thirst to see the world and experience as much of it as he possibly could,’ he said, as per the Irish Times.

‘Max was an amazing brother to Charlie, they were true best friends.’ He added: ‘We will love him forever.’

Speaking after his funeral at The Church of the Scared Heart, his mother Fiona said: ‘Max, our darling boy, we love you forever, we miss you forever. You were a force of nature and your memory will live on.’ 

Heartbreaking pictures showed Max Wall's coffin being carried into The Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, Dublin

Heartbreaking pictures showed Max Wall’s coffin being carried into The Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, Dublin

Max Wall's father Niall Wall (pictured) told mourners that his son was 'robbed of a bright future'

Max Wall’s father Niall Wall (pictured) told mourners that his son was ‘robbed of a bright future’

Max Wall

Andrew O'Donnell

Andrew O’Donnell (right) and Max Wall (left) both died on the school trip to Ios to celebrate the end of secondary school

Heartbreaking pictures showed Max’s coffin arriving in a hearse before it was carried into the church ahead of his funeral. 

Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll told family and friends at the service: ‘The world has lost a little colour with his passing.’ 

Andrew and Max were part of a bigger group of students from schools across Ireland who were on a post-exams trip to mark the end of their secondary education. 

Last week it emerged that Andrew had been socialising with friends at a series of venues throughout the evening before finally deciding to call it a night at 1.30am.

It was when he then tried to find his way back to his hotel digs alone in the dark that he appears to have lost his way and fallen within sight of the hotel.

Max had helped to search for him in the hours before his body was found the following day. Max then collapsed and himself died shortly after hearing news that Andrew had been found dead.

At Max’s funeral, symbols representing his life, including Manchester United and Leinster Rugby shirts, a pool cue and his school’s yearbook were brought to the altar by friends.

His heartbroken family had paid tribute to the ‘larger than life personality’ who brought ‘great joy’ to everyone when announcing the funeral details.

‘During his short time, he faced numerous challenges that he bore with great courage and bravery and always remained his most positive sunny fun filled self,’ it said. 

The hearse carrying the coffin of Max Wall arrives at The Church of the Sacred Heart

The hearse carrying the coffin of Max Wall arrives at The Church of the Sacred Heart

Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll told family and friends at the service: 'The world has lost a little colour with his passing.'

Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll told family and friends at the service: ‘The world has lost a little colour with his passing.’

Former minister Conor Lenihan was in attendance for the funeral of Max Wall on Monday afternoon

Former minister Conor Lenihan was in attendance for the funeral of Max Wall on Monday afternoon

Max's father said his son 'had a real thirst to see the world and experience as much of it as he possibly could'

Max’s father said his son ‘had a real thirst to see the world and experience as much of it as he possibly could’

A touching photo of Max Wall with a dog on the order of service for his funeral in Dublin today

A touching photo of Max Wall with a dog on the order of service for his funeral in Dublin today

The coffin of the 18-year-old is carried from his funeral at The Church of the Sacred Heart

The coffin of the 18-year-old is carried from his funeral at The Church of the Sacred Heart

The full details of Andrew’s evening out that preceded this double tragedy recently emerged in a police report based on interviews with numerous witnesses. 

The investigation has found that Andrew had gone out to socialise within hours of arriving on the Greek Island – a magnet for young people who want to celebrate events like finishing high school, as Andrew and Max just had.

Andrew and Max were among 70 pupils from St Michael’s College Dublin who had gone to Ios to celebrate the end of their secondary school education.

The group were booked to stay across several separate hotels as their number attending meant they could not find a single one to accommodate the whole group.

The police report describes the Dublin group arriving on Ios at around 2pm on 30 June. Andrew was staying at the Homer’s Inn hotel where he was sharing a room with Senan Henry, also 18.

After settling in the pair then caught a bus together to Milopatas Beach at around 7pm to start their evening out.

Andrew had been socialising with friends at a series of venues throughout the evening before finally deciding to call it a night at 1.30am. It was when he then tried to find his way back to his hotel digs alone in the dark that he appears to have lost his way and fallen on rocky ground (pictured) within sight of the hotel

Andrew had been socialising with friends at a series of venues throughout the evening before finally deciding to call it a night at 1.30am. It was when he then tried to find his way back to his hotel digs alone in the dark that he appears to have lost his way and fallen on rocky ground (pictured) within sight of the hotel

The police report describes the Dublin group arriving on Ios at around 2pm on 30 June. Andrew was staying at the Homer's Inn hotel (pictured) where he was sharing a room with Senan Henry, also 18

The police report describes the Dublin group arriving on Ios at around 2pm on 30 June. Andrew was staying at the Homer’s Inn hotel (pictured) where he was sharing a room with Senan Henry, also 18

Andrew and Senan went first to the FarOut Beach Club, a popular venue amongst youngsters holidaying in Ios, arriving shortly before 8pm.

The two stayed there until 10pm and then decided to walk to Disco 69, described as the ‘hottest’ night spot in Ios.

It is located on a strip in Hora, the island’s main town, where it is one of several bars and clubs on a strip that are popular with youngsters and usually busy until the early hours of the morning.

The report states: ‘At 23.00 they arrived at the town where they went to Disco 69 for entertainment and consumed alcohol. Senan reported to us that his friend Andrew left on foot for the accommodation where they were staying.’

According to the report, Andrew was reported missing to Greek police by Senan on Saturday morning – with the official time of his disappearance given as 3am on 1 July, just over 12 hours after he arrived in Ios.

Flowers are seen placed near to the spot where Andrew's body was found

Flowers are seen placed near to the spot where Andrew’s body was found 

That was the last time his mobile phone showed his location and it showed that Andrew was close to the Homer’s Inn hotel.

It’s believed he may have slipped and fallen after getting lost as he tried to make his way back on foot across rough ground – within sight of the hotel.

His body was finally found at around 1pm on Sunday 2 July in bushes on a rocky slope that overlooks the Homer’s Inn.

The report states: ‘He [Senan] reported that at 03.00 on 01-07-2023 it appears in the search application of his mobile phone that O’Donnell Andrew of Gavin was outside the Homers Inn Hotel. Since then he lost track of him and lost contact with him.’

The police report also notes that Andrew’s father Gavin called Ios police station himself on the night of 1 July from his home in Dublin and also reported the disappearance of his son, leaving his phone number for officers to keep him updated of any news.

Panos Gkikakis, manager of the Homer’s Inn hotel, told MailOnline that he was on duty when Senan returned without Andrew after their night out.

He said: ‘He just asked for a spare key for the room they were sharing because they only had one and it was with Andrew. 

‘He told me that they had got separated but he was going to bed because he was sure Andrew would arrive soon because his location showed that he was nearby.

‘It wasn’t until the following morning that we all started to worry. That night I went with his friends to the top of the slope where Andrew was eventually found to look for him. But it was dark and we didn’t see anything. 

Friends of the two Irish students formed a guard of honour on the island of Ios as the bodies of their two friends left the Greek island

Friends of the two Irish students formed a guard of honour on the island of Ios as the bodies of their two friends left the Greek island

‘It’s very sad to think that he was lying there for so long but was so close to us.’

The final results of post-mortems on both Andrew and Max are not expected for another ten days but Greek sources have indicated that Andrew died from a fall from a height in which he suffered concussion to the brain.

Max it is believed to have had an existing heart condition which may have contributed to his death.

A medical source in Ios said: ‘We are awaiting the full results of the toxicological analysis which is being carried out by specialists at the University of Crete.’

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