Two teenagers who had just finished studying at the same school have died in separate incidents on the Greek Island of Ios.
Andrew O’Donnell and Max Wall had reportedly both recently finished the Irish equivalent of A level exams, Leaving Certificate Examinations. Their Dublin school said it had been a “day of immense sadness”.
St Michael’s College said in a statement on Sunday that Max was “a constant source of positivity” and described Andrew as a “popular” student and a “committed” footballer. Leinster Rugby said that people were “in shock” at the news of the two “young men gone far too soon”.
Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said the news emerging from Greece was “devastating”. On Twitter, he said: “Thinking of the families and friends of Andrew and Max and all Leaving Cert students abroad in Greece who were enjoying holidays after exams and are now encountering such shock and pain and grief. I know we all hold them in our hearts tonight.”
St Michael’s College released an initial statement about the death of Andrew before later confirming Max had also died. It said: “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.”
“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.”
The school encouraged students who want to know more about available support to contact staff members.
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman confirmed it is aware of both cases and is providing consular assistance. “As with all consular cases, the Department does not comment on the details of individual cases,” it said.