| 7.2°C Belfast

Storm drain access to be investigated in Noah Donohoe probe

Close

The storm drain in north Belfast where Noah was found

The storm drain in north Belfast where Noah was found

PA

The storm drain in north Belfast where Noah was found

Police have launched an investigation into how access was gained to a storm drain where the body of Belfast teenager Noah Donohoe was discovered last summer.

Confirming the move last night, the PSNI said the new investigation would centre on "access to the storm drain network, convenient to Premier Drive/Northwood Road in north Belfast, which is owned by the Department for Infrastructure".

"Police are working in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive and Public Prosecution Service and have informed the Donohoe family of the development," a PSNI spokesperson said.

The storm drain investigation will take place in addition to the coroner's probe into the teenager's death.

Noah (14), a pupil at St Malachy's College, went missing in south Belfast on June 21 last year.

His body was found in the storm drain in the north of the city and close to the M2 motorway six days later following a massive search operation.

A post-mortem examination established he died as a result of drowning and a coroner's hearing was later told there was no evidence that he was attacked or that anyone else was involved.

Close

Tragic: Noah Donohoe was missing for six days before his body was found

Tragic: Noah Donohoe was missing for six days before his body was found

Tragic: Noah Donohoe was missing for six days before his body was found

The PSNI said last year they believed Noah entered the drain in the Northwood Road area.

He had cycled to the area from his home in south Belfast and, shortly before he went missing, was seen with no clothes on.

Prior to that he was seen falling off his bike in Shore Road.

Noah's disappearance led to a wide-scale search operation across Belfast, involving police, community rescue teams and the local community.

Police have previously said there was no reason to suspect foul play in Noah's death, but his family have continued to call for answers.

An SDLP spokesperson said last night: "Noah Donohoe's disappearance and death is any family's worst nightmare and the strength and resolve that Noah's mother Fiona and his family have shown over the last year has been incredible.

"We support their campaign for the truth regarding his tragic death and will do everything in our power to help them."

Last week Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill met with the Chief Constable Simon Byrne to raise "grave concerns" over the PSNI handling of the investigation into the teenager's death.

"I have met with the Donohoe family, continue to engage with them and they have my full support in terms of getting truth and justice around what happened to Noah.

"I think any mummy in that position that Fiona is sitting in today, not having answers about what happened to her wee boy, could not fail to be heartbroken," the Sinn Fein vice-President said.

In January, Coroner Joe McCrisken, who is overseeing an inquest into the schoolboy's death, revealed that a new book about Noah has been referred to the Attorney General.

Fiona Donohoe said she was "sorry" to hear about the publication of 'The Noah Donohoe Scandal' by Donal Lavery.

Ms Donohoe confirmed that the publication had nothing to do with her family, their campaign to find out the truth about Noah's death, and she did not endorse it.

A full inquest into Noah's death is set for January 2022.

Belfast Telegraph


Privacy