Wednesday 25 April 2018

Teen who died after fall through roof 'loved by everyone'

Craig Hanlon McKeon
Craig Hanlon McKeon

The mother of a teenager who died after falling through a roof described her son as a boy who was "loved by everyone."

Craig Hanlon McKeon (19) died after he fell through the roof of a former steelworks factory in St James's Street in Dublin. The young man, who loved climbing, was walking along the roof with a friend when it partially collapsed on January 4, 2016.

The fishmonger, from Basin Street flats in Dublin 8, died in hospital the following day.

Speaking after an inquest into his death at Dublin Coroner's Court, his mother Fiona and relatives paid tribute to Craig, describing him as "a character" who loved sport and was loved by his community.

"He was loving and giving. He loved his job, he loved sport and was really into his fitness. Everyone loved him. We are heartbroken," Fiona McKeon said.

"He was one of the nicest, kindest young men you could meet. He was really good to his mother," his aunt Susan McKeon said.

The inquest heard evidence from the young man's friend, Conor Fitzgerald, who said the pair "just loved climbing".

Climbing

They had gone "on a ramble" after meeting earlier that afternoon, he said.

"We were bored. We decided to climb up on the roof. We both liked climbing and we wanted to see what was up there," he added.

They had climbed on to the roof of the steelworks two or three times previously, gaining access through an apartment block nearby. Mr Fitzgerald was about two feet behind when his friend fell, the court heard.

"I heard a crack and a breaking noise and I looked back and Craig was gone," he said.

"I don't know what he stood on. I don't think he tripped. He just fell straight down."

Mr Fitzgerald raised the alarm and gardai arrived at 4.40pm. Dublin Fire Brigade arrived two minutes later. The victim was rushed to St James's Hospital where he was pronounced dead on January 5.

"The doctors said they had done all they could for him," the young man's father, Stephen Hanlon, said.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that the former steelworks yard was used as a car park for staff working at St James's Hospital.

Occupational therapist Riona Nolan was returning to her car when she heard a crash. She said she had previously heard parts of the roof flapping.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said there was no one with responsibility for the car park present in court. She adjourned the case, saying "a little more information was required in order to complete the inquest".

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