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Ibiza 'beating death' man's family urge change to Northern Ireland inquest law

Published 10/08/2015

Alan Drennan (inset) was found dead in his Ibiza hotel room
Alan Drennan (inset) was found dead in his Ibiza hotel room
Alan Drennan was found dead in his Ibiza hotel room

The father of a mechanic who died in Ibiza hours after he was allegedly beaten by Spanish police has called for a law change to enable Northern Ireland coroners to investigate contentious deaths abroad.

A pathologist in the Republic of Ireland conducted a post mortem on Alan Drennan's body in July to probe the assault claims because the Coroners Service in Belfast is not empowered to direct such an examination north of the border.

Friends of 21-year-old Mr Drennan who accompanied him to the Mediterranean island on holiday claim he suffered head injuries after being hit by officers from the Guardia Civil at the airport.

Mr Drennan, from Newtownabbey, near Belfast, went out partying with his friends after the incident but was found dead in his hotel room the next day.

Spanish police initially said there were no signs of violence and a post mortem examination conducted in Spain found the cause of death to be "multiple organ failure".

However, his family arranged for another post mortem to be undertaken in Dublin. A coroner in the Republic directed for the examination to take place. The family is still awaiting the results.

Mr Drennan's father Alan snr said a change to the inquest law in Northern Ireland would be "the legacy we wish for our son".

"I would like to raise awareness of the fact that the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland recommended in 2009 that legislation should be introduced to give the Coroner in Northern Ireland the power to investigate deaths that occur outside Northern Ireland," he said.

"If Alan's death helps to bring about a change in the law that helps other families in our situation then that would be the legacy we wish for our son.

"We await the outcome of the second post-mortem but whatever the result it will not bring our Alan back. I want to make sure that what happened Alan will not happen to other young people who go abroad on holiday. I want to stress to young people to look after themselves when they go abroad and to avoid making themselves vulnerable."

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