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Daily Record
Daily Record
David Young & Hannah Mackenzie Wood

Devastated parents of teen who died on Greek holiday pay tribute to 'fabulous' son

The parents of a teen who tragically died on holiday just days after his friend also passed away have paid tribute to their "fabulous son" at his funeral.

Max Wall was pronounced dead on the Greek island of Ios after falling ill as he was about to board a ferry. Just hours earlier, the 18-year-old's friend Andrew O'Donnell was found dead at the bottom of a rocky hill on the island, Dublin Live reports.

It is believed that Mr O'Donnell, who was also 18, had fallen while walking back from a night out.

The two teenagers, who both attended St Michael's College in south Dublin, were among a larger group of young people who had travelled to the island to celebrate completing their Leaving Certificate exams.

It is also understood that Mr Wall underwent major heart surgery three years ago. During his funeral at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook in south Dublin, his dad Niall said that he had spoken to his son on the phone shortly before he died.

Both he and Mr Wall's mum Fiona delivered tributes at Monday's service, saying: "Today marks the end of an eight-day journey for us that with the most profound cruelty has not only taken Max from us but has robbed him of a bright future. And the sense of loss that we feel is so deep because of what he has lost.

"Today is a day to remember Max, of course to mourn his premature death, but also to mark his short but very full life. Max was full of life. He brightened the life of others. He was the best craic. He was full of fun. The best kind."

During his emotional speech, Mr Wall described his son as ambitious, generous, independent, polite, kind and respectful. He added: "The most important thing about Max is that he simply was our fabulous son and we will love him forever."

Mr Wall also extended his condolences to Mr O'Donnell's parents Bebhinn and Gavin. "We forged the closest of friendships through our joint journey through what has only been a nightmare over the last week," he said.

Mrs Wall read the poem Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden at the service before delivering her own heartfelt tribute. "Max, our darling boy, we love you forever. We miss you dreadfully. You were a force of nature and your memory will live on," she said.

Max tragically died shortly before he was due to board a ferry at Ios port. (PA Wire)

There was sustained applause from mourners after the devastated parents finished their tributes. Earlier, a class mate of Mr Wall brought symbols to the front of the church to represent his life. They included a Manchester United shirt with his name on the back, a signed Leinster rugby jersey and a pool cue.

A megaphone symbolising the passion with which he supported his beloved teams was also included. The teenager's parents took religious symbols forward to signify their son's strong faith, while his brother Charlie delivered a reading.

St Michael's College chaplain, Fr Paddy Moran, who also spoke at the graduation ceremony attended by Mr Wall two months ago, was the principal celebrant at his requiem mass. He reflected on the ceremony for the school leavers who had completed their Leaving Certificates and were preparing for a new chapter in their lives.

"It was a joyous occasion," he said. "I looked out at this sea of faces ready to embark on the next stage of their lives as young adults - young, energetic men ready to take on the world.

"It never occurred to me that we would be gathered two months later for the funeral of Max. It is heartbreaking to be gathered in this most tragic of circumstances. Our hearts are broken."

Mr O'Donnell's funeral is set to be held in the same church on Wednesday.

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