Thursday 14 December 2017

Student is found dead in yard after tragic fall

Ralph Riegel

A STUDENT who was missing for five days died when he fell from a 25-foot high wall into a storage yard.

Caolan Mulrooney (18) suffered fatal injuries in the early hours of last Friday when he plummeted from the high wall just off Douglas Street in Cork city centre.

His body was only discovered at 10am yesterday following a massive search operation. Gardai are treating the death as a tragic accident.

It remains unclear whether the teen fell while trying to climb over the wall or slipped while walking along its top to gain access to a nearby street as a shortcut.

The wall was described as deceptively dangerous. It is seven-foot high on one side but due to a steep hill there is a 25-foot drop on the other side.

The body was found yesterday when a businessman -- having heard an appeal from the student's father, Eugene Mulrooney -- checked his premises at Blue Anchor Lane near Douglas Street. He discovered the body of the Rochestown student lying at the foot of a high wall behind a storage shed.

Mr Mulrooney paid an emotional tribute to the 400-plus volunteers who had been searching for his son.

He said Caolan's friends had been "extraordinary" in their commitment, adding: "We are really grateful to everyone who has helped in the effort to find Caolan -- I would like to thank the people of Cork -- the support has been fantastic."

A post-mortem is scheduled to conclude today at Cork University Hospital.

Caolan -- a first-year engineering student at University College Cork (UCC) -- had last been seen in Cork city centre at 1.07am last Friday. He had been out on Thursday evening at a Christmas party with friends and attended Cubin's nightclub.

He became separated from his friends as he left the club and was later spotted crossing the South Gate bridge before turning on to French's Quay.

For three days, stretches of the River Lee were trawled and gardai switched the search to areas off Douglas Street after they had studied CCTV footage.


Caolan was caught by one camera running along a road off Barrack Street -- in a direction away from the river. He was not being chased and was not filmed by the next camera either exiting the street or retracing his steps -- leading gardai to believe he had gone down an alley outside the sweep of the CCTV cameras.

His body was found at 10am yesterday after gardai and search volunteers, working with property owners, began checking all gardens, yards, commercial premises and derelict buildings in the Douglas Street-Barrack Street-Fort Street areas.

A special tribute is expected to be held today by UCC students in Caolan's memory.

Irish Independent

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