SPANISH police are investigating whether a faulty handrail was to blame after a popular Irishman plunged to his death from a balcony in Tenerife.
Father-of-three Robert Delves, 42, was on a family holiday in El Medano in Granadilla, in the south of the island, when he apparently fell 30ft from an apartment.
The incident happened in the early hours of this morning.
Mr Delves, from Rush, north Co Dublin, is understood to have been holidaying in the Canary Islands with his wife Ciara and their children, aged 12, four and two.
It is believed they left Ireland on St Stephen's Day to join Mr Delves's brother John, who heads Denis O'Brien's Digicel in Trinidad and Tobago, and their parents for a celebration at the seaside resort.
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it is helping the family.
"We are providing consular assistance," a spokesman said.
Mr Delves worked for his family printing business and was a popular and respected coach at St Maurs GAA club in Rush.
Owen McGinty, vice-chairman of the club, said it was devastated by the tragedy.
"He was a very popular member of the club, and a very popular man locally," he said. "He was the most inoffensive guy you would ever meet and a very hard worker. It's a terrible loss."
A source at the Civil Guard in Tenerife confirmed an ambulance was called to the scene at 1.30am but paramedics failed revive the holidaymaker.
It is believed he suffered extensive head injuries in the fall.
"Although we are still awaiting the outcome of the investigation, it is thought the accident was caused by a handrail on the balcony which gave way," said the source.
Leo Bisset, a friend of Mr Delves, said the close-knit coastal town of Rush was shattered and stunned by the death.
"Robert was an absolute gentleman, one the nicest you could ever meet," he said.
"He was a superb footballer and golfer.
"You would never ever hear a bad word about Robert or his family, lovely people."