Andrew O'Donnell and Max Wall, both 18, died this weekend on the Greek island of Ios where they, along with some 90 classmates from St. Michael's College in Dublin, were celebrating finishing their Leaving Cert exams.

O'Donnell's body was discovered in a rocky area on Sunday morning, July 2 after he had been missing for more than 24 hours. It is believed that he suffered a tragic accident while coming home from a night out.

Later in the day on Sunday, Wall was found unconscious near Ios' port and was later pronounced dead. RTÉ News notes that Wall had "successful heart surgery" three years ago.

Post-mortem examinations are due to take place in the coming days, while separate investigations into the two deaths are underway.

St. Michael's principal Tim Kelleher told the Irish Examiner on Monday: "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. It is a tight-knit community.

“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."

He added: "The Department of Foreign Affairs said the remains of Andrew and Max will be brought at 8 am tomorrow to Athens for a post-mortem.

"Following that, they will be released to their families later in the week. Then arrangements will be made to bring them home. The consular service will accompany the families tomorrow.” 

Kelleher described Wall and O'Donnell as  “hugely popular with a bright future” ahead of them.

“I personally have never dealt with anything like this," Kelleher said, "you have deaths obviously in the school, sudden deaths and boys who were sick, but this is deeply devastating.

“The families and boys are all in a terrible state and they just want to come home now and we must deal with this as best we can, but we will be here for all of them, families too.

“Our priority is the support for Andrew and Max’s family. Every parent feels this because it is every parent’s nightmare."

Prayer services for the classmates will be held tomorrow, July 4, and Wednesday, July 5 in the chapel at St. Michael's College, while a book of condolences has also been opened.

There will be a prayer service to remember Andrew & Max in the School Chapel tomorrow & Wednesday at 12 pm and 6pm. Reception Room and Books of Condolences open.
All are welcome.

Tim Kelleher

— St Michael's College Union (@StMichaelsColl1) July 3, 2023

Elsewhere on Monday, Ireland Rugby U20s Head Coach Richie Murphy offered his sympathies to O'Donnell and Wall's families. There are six players from St. Michael's on Ireland's World Rugby under-20 Championship squad, who will wear black armbands in tribute during their match against Fiji on Tuesday.

Ireland U20s Head Coach Richie Murphy opened today's Media Conference by extending the sympathies of the entire squad to the friends and families of Andrew O'Donnell and Max Wall.

They are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone in Irish Rugby at this incredibly sad time.

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) July 3, 2023

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has offered his deepest sympathies to O'Donnell and Wall's families and prayers to the staff and students at St. Michael's College.

The Embassy of Ireland in Athens is providing consular support, and a consular officer is on the ground in Ios, Martin said.

The Embassy of Ireland in Athens is providing consular support, and a consular officer is on the ground in Ios.

Anyone seeking consular assistance can contact the Embassy at +30 210 723 2771 or DFA Consular on 014082527. (2/2)

— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) July 3, 2023