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Noah Donohoe: Coroner calls for end to 'inaccurate and baseless rumours' into tragic teenager's death

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Fourteen-year-old Noah Donohoe, whose body was found in a north Belfast storm drain six days after the schoolboy went missing

Fourteen-year-old Noah Donohoe, whose body was found in a north Belfast storm drain six days after the schoolboy went missing

Fourteen-year-old Noah Donohoe, whose body was found in a north Belfast storm drain six days after the schoolboy went missing

An inquest into the death of Belfast schoolboy Noah Donohoe is set to take place early next year.

The date of January 18 , 2021 was set on Friday at a preliminary review hearing held in Laganside Court by Coroner Joe McCrisken.

Noah (14) disappeared in the north of the city on June 21, shortly after he was seen cycling near the Shore Road.

His disappearance sparked a massive search in the area and further afield by local people and emergency services before his body was found in a 1km-long storm drain off Shore Road on June 27.

Preliminary findings in an autopsy later established he had died as a result of drowning and did not suffer a serious head injury.

During the hearing, which lasted less than 20 minutes and was attended by Noah's mum, Fiona and aunt, Niamh, Mr McCrisken stressed that a full post-mortem report is still outstanding.

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Noah Donohoe with his mother Fiona

Noah Donohoe with his mother Fiona

Noah Donohoe with his mother Fiona

He also called for an end to online speculation which began following the teenager's disappearance and had continued since Noah's death.

"Since Noah’s disappearance, and following the discovery of his body, there has been a high volume of speculation and comment published on social media and other forms of media," he said.

"Most of this content has been inaccurate and baseless. Some has been distressing to Noah’s family and some may have been criminal.

"While I understand the concern of the community in the light of Noah’s disappearance and death, and the desire for further information, I am asking that speculation cease from today."

He continued: “I am asking the community and media to respect my wishes as the coroner responsible for investigating Noah’s death, and respect the wishes of Noah’s family, to be left in peace to begin to properly grieve for Noah."

He warned that court proceedings are now active, and anyone found to be in contempt will face prosecution.

Another preliminary hearing has been set for September.

Belfast Telegraph