Andrew O'Donnell, one of the Irish students who tragically died on the Greek island of Ios last week, had decided to have an early night and suffered a tragic accident while walking home alone.
The 18-year-old, who had recently done his Leaving Cert exam at St. Michael's College in Dublin, was found in a rocky area on the island on Sunday morning, July 2, after being missing for over 24 hours.
Tragically, O'Donnell's friend and schoolmate Max Wall died later on Sunday after collapsing at the port while waiting for a ferry to leave the island.
St. Michael's principal Tim Kelleher revealed that O'Donnell had taken the "sensible" decision of having an early night but suffered a tragic accident while taking a shortcut on the way back to his accommodation.
He said O'Donnell and Wall had been on the island for less than 24 hours at the time of O'Donnell's disappearance, adding that the two students were both exhausted from traveling.
Ios is not accessible via plane, with Irish passengers required to take a direct flight to Athens or Santorini followed by a lengthy boat ride to Ios.
"They were wrecked tired and Andrew made a very wise decision to go home early," Kelleher told the Irish Independent on Friday.
"He left thegroup and was going home to his own place when the accident happened. He was tired because he had been traveling and did the mature, sensible thing.
Kelleher added that most parents would be "proud" of their children for taking the decision to "check out early" when they are feeling 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."
O'Donnell's funeral will take place in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, on Wednesday, July 12. The service will be followed by a private family cremation.
Wall's funeral will take place in the same church on Monday, July 10.
The parents of both students arrived home with their son's remains on Thursday night and attended a private service at a chapel in St. Michael's College on Friday evening. The service was also attended by O'Donnell and Wall's classmates at the school.
Both Wall and O'Donnell had recently completed their Leaving Cert exams and had traveled to Ios to celebrate with roughly 90 people from their school.