Teen who died after fall through roof 'just loved climbing'

Craig Hanlon McKeon

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

Craig Hanlon McKeon (aged 19) died after he fell through the roof of a former steel works factory at 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 young fish monger from Basin Street flats in Dublin 8 died in hospital the following day.

Speaking after an inquest hearing into his death at Dublin Coroner’s Court, his mother Fiona McKeon 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,” aunt Susan McKeon said.

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

They had climbed onto the steel works roof two or three times previously, gaining access through an apartment block nearby.

Craig was walking about two feet behind Conor when he fell, the court heard.

Dublin Coroner’s Court

“I heard a crack and a breaking noise and I looked back and Craig was gone... I don’t know what Craig stood on. I don’t think he tripped. He just fell straight down,” Conor said.

He immediately raised the alarm and gardai arrived at 4.40pm. Dublin Fire Brigade arrived two minutes later. Craig 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 man’s father Stephen Hanlon said in his deposition.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that the former steel works yard is used as a car park for staff working at St James’s Hospital.

Occupational therapist Riona Nolan was returning to her car park and when she heard a crash.

She said she had previously heard parts of the roof flapping and was cautious of it.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinane noted that there were no persons with responsibility for the car park present in court.

Adjourning the case, the coroner told the young man’s family that "a little more information was required" in order to complete the inquest.

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