5,000 join web tribute to Derry street death teenager
Police trawl through CCTV footage in search for clues
Published 18/10/2011 | 04:22
More than 5,000 people have joined a social network page set up in memory of a teenager who died from injuries sustained at the weekend.
The ‘RIP Caolan Page’ tribute site on Facebook had attracted more than 5,200 ‘likes’ since his death on Sunday.
Caolan was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital after being found injured near the Walls on Magazine Street, Londonderry, at around 2am on Sunday.
Detectives were last night trawling through CCTV footage of the area where the St Columb’s College A-level student sustained his fatal injuries.
Police hope the images will help establish what happened to Caolan amid rumours that he was attacked or had fallen from the city’s Walls.
A post-mortem examination was due to be carried out in Belfast today.
Caolan’s own Facebook account was flooded with tributes from friends.
One friend referred to Caolan becoming an organ donor. She said: “So proud of you, still helping others and you’re not even here. Don't know what we’re going to do without you.”
Another described Caolan as a “glorious legend”, while a third said: “Words can’t describe how i feel, not being able to see you again it’s hard to deal with but just being able to have the memory of knowing you keeps me going. Me and many others will miss you, sleep tight bud.”
Ambulance personnel arrived at the scene within five minutes of being notified. He was pronounced dead at Altnagelvin on Sunday afternoon.
Police confirmed they were unaware of the incident until 8.35am on Sunday. A PSNI spokesman said that after being alerted “police immediately liaised with ambulance control to establish the details and are continuing to investigate this incident”.
An Ambulance NI spokesman confirmed that it had not notified police.
He said: “Personnel would tend to phone police in an assault case, but with this particular call we didn’t receive it as an assault. We received it as a boy who fell and hit his head and therefore we wouldn’t have called the police.”
Caolan (19) lived on the Donegal side of the border in the village of Killea.
His mother and stepfather, who moved to the area from Derry several years ago, were too traumatised to speak to the Press. St Columb’s College principal Sean McGinty said the school community was devastated.
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan described Caolan’s death as a “dreadful tragedy”, while Sinn Fein councillor Mickey Cooper said: “This must have been a terrible shock for his family. They are in our thoughts and prayers.”
A PSNI spokesman said last night that detectives at Strand Road want to speak to anyone who saw Caolan in Waterloo Place and Waterloo Street making his way towards Magazine Gate at around 1.17am, or who may have been in the Guildhall Square, Union Place or Lower Magazine Street areas.