Father says son (13) died because of a 'stupid teenage accident gone wrong'
The grieving Dad of a 13-year-old school boy said yesterday that his son "died because of a stupid teenage accident gone wrong".
Greg Wilmot said 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 someway connected to the online 'Blue Whale' suicide challenge game.
Speaking from the family home four miles from the east Clare village of Sixmilebridge, Mr Wilmot said he is fairly sure that Conor "died as a result of a choking game".
Mr Wilmot said that such a game has enjoyed a resurgence as a result of the Internet and he believes that Conor came across the 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."
He said: "The Gardai have taken away Conor’s phone and that will show his search history and that will tell us a story."
Mr Wilmot said that Gardai are also examining a lap-top that Conor would have had access to.
Mr Wilmot said: "I bet you they will find something to do with a choking game on his phone."
Mr Wilmot said that his son fits the profile of someone who would have got involved in such a game. He said: "High achievers often fall prey to this."
Yesterday, neighbours and friends were at the home comforting Greg and his wife, Irina over the loss of Conor, with sandwiches and cake piled high from those rallying to support the Wilmots.
Conor is also survived by 21-year old sister, Melanie and 10-year old brother, Ross and the family was busy preparing for Conor’s funeral mass which takes place in Sixmilebridge today.
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."
He added: "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 teen 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 don’t match anything to do with Blue Whale. He said: "Blue Whale is not consistent with what I found."
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, Mr Wilmot described Conor as “brilliant” and very popular with his classmates.
Mr Wilmot described Conor as “quirky” who liked Dr Who and professional wrestling.
He said: “He 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.”
A computer programmer with a masters in philosophy, the Australian born man said that the two had booked tickets to travel to Paris in June to see some of Conor’s favourite bands, Greenday and Linkin Park.
Mr Wilmot said that he first found Conor on lands behind their home last Thursday night, his son didn’t have a pulse and his hands were cold.
Mr Wilmot said that is trained to provide CPR and gave his son CPR until the paramedics arrived.
A former professional scuba driver, 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."
Mr Wilmot said: “There is nothing we could have done to stop him going out of the house and down to the land. I am not riddled with guilt over it. You can’t lock the doors."
He said: “It is not like we could have minded him more. Short of putting him under lock and key, there is nothing we could have done."
Mr Wilmot said: “The problem is the Internet. It is their whole life for teens, the first thing they do when waking up is look at the smart phone and the last thing they do at night is look at the smart phone. It is a misguided idea and a fantasy that parents can restrict access to the Internet for teenagers because they will always find a way around it.”