Thursday 22 February 2018

'My brilliant son didn't kill himself - Conor died in a stupid accident,' says grieving dad

Greg Wilmot pictured with his other son Ross (10)
Greg Wilmot pictured with his other son Ross (10)

Gordon Deegan

The grieving father of a 13-year-old schoolboy said his son died because of a "stupid teenage accident".

Greg Wilmot said yesterday he is "absolutely certain" that his son Conor did not die by suicide.

Mr Wilmot also dismissed reports that his son intentionally took his own life because he was being bullied at school or that his death is in connected to the online 'Blue Whale' suicide challenge game.

Speaking from the family home 6km from the east Clare village of Sixmilebridge, Mr Wilmot said he was fairly sure that Conor "died as a result of a choking game".

Mr Wilmot said he believed that Conor came across the dangerous game online.

He said: "For all we know, it wasn't the first time Conor did it and this time he didn't get away with it.

"The gardaí have taken away Conor's phone and that will show his search history and that will tell us a story."

Mr Wilmot said gardaí had also taken away a laptop that Conor had access to from the home to examine it.

Yesterday, neighbours and friends were at the home comforting Greg and his wife Irina over the loss of Conor.

Conor is also survived by 21-year old sister Melanie and 10-year old brother Ross.

Conor's funeral will take place at 11am today in Sixmilebridge Parish Church.

Mr Wilmot said his certainty about Conor not intentionally taking his own life "isn't based on any speculation about what his mental state may or may not have been".

He said: "I found him and it is based around the position I found him in. It was an accident gone wrong and not an intentional act to kill himself.

"People need to know that because it makes a massive difference to know it was a stupid teenage accident gone wrong rather than him being unhappy or whatever."


The twisted Blue Whale suicide challenge has been linked to 130 teenage deaths in Russia and Mr Wilmot said: "It is nothing to do with Blue Whale. It is not a suicide thing."

Mr Wilmot said that the circumstances of Conor's death did not match anything to do with Blue Whale.

He said: "All of us, when we were teenagers, did some stupid, stupid things which could have gone wrong and none of us would be walking around, and I think it was one of those stupid, stupid things that he decided to do that just went wrong."

A former tennis pro and former professional scuba diver, Mr Wilmot described Conor as "brilliant" and very popular with his classmates.

He said: "He [Conor] never missed a day at school and was really enjoying playing rugby for St Senan's. He was playing No 8 and had a God-given skill."

Mr Wilmot said that when he discovered Conor near their home last Thursday night his hands were cold and he didn't have a pulse.

The father-of-three said he gave his son CPR until the paramedics arrived and they continued to try to resuscitate Conor.

Mr Wilmot said: "I called the emergency services. I didn't panic and just went into 'doing' mode. No one could have done more to save him."

Conor attended St Patrick's Comprehensive School in nearby Shannon. In a statement released yesterday, the school denied suggestions that Conor was being bullied before his death.

The statement said: "There has been some speculation on social media and in some media outlets regarding the circumstances of the tragedy. In particular there have been suggestions of bullying.

"This speculation is totally without foundation and represents an unwarranted intrusion into the grief of the family at this tragic time."

Irish Independent

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