Noah Donohoe’s family is seeking a meeting with Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee, and they are also writing letters to TDs because they are unhappy with the Northern Ireland Police Service’s (PSNI) investigation into the mysterious death of a Belfast teenager in June 2020.
“PSNI did not conduct a thorough investigation,” Noah’s aunt told The Irish Independent. “They need to strengthen it, and the Irish government can put pressure on us not to be able to as a family.”
The family reportedly highlights the fact that Noah, whose naked body was found in a drainage canal in Belfast six days after he disappeared, had an Irish passport.
The family appeal to the Irish government comes after PSNI announced on February 3 that a separate investigation had been launched into access to a stormwater network suitable for Premier Drive / Northwood Road in North Belfast, owned by the Department of Infrastructure. “
This builds on the “ongoing coronal investigation” of Noah’s death.
Police launch investigation into access to sewer in connection with Noah Donohoe’s tragic death pic.twitter.com/q6dtCX0RCu
– NI Police Service (@PoliceServiceNI) February 3, 2021
Noah Donohoe, 14, went missing around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, when he was riding a bicycle through Belfast City.
A few minutes later, he was seen leaving his clothes and riding his bicycle naked, leading police to believe he fell off his bike and hit his head, as both his family and police say such behavior is “completely out of character.”
Police officers found a teenage backpack and laptop in search on June 26. On June 27, PSNI said in a statement that they had found a body in northern Belfast believed to be the body of Noah Donohoe.
Post-mortem later said Donohoe died as a result of drowning, a result that Andree Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Donohoe family and a member of the Cousins for Justice, said she “asks more questions than answers.”
The investigation into the death of Noah Donohoe is scheduled for January 2022.
In a poignant interview with Ireland AM broadcast on February 23, Noah’s mother Fiona and Aunt Niamh recounted the search for the Belfast teenager, their tragic forgiveness and what they envision as his legacy. They also continue to worry about PSNI’s search strategy for the six days Noah was missing.
“He was the light of my life,” Fiona said of her only child, “He was so thrilled with life.”
Fiona, visibly distraught, recalls that she and Noah often hugged and said to each other, “I love you,” which encourages other parents to do so as often as possible. The last time Fiona saw her son, the two of them, as usual, hugged.
On Sunday, June 21, 2020, Fiona began to worry when Noah didn’t call home at a certain time to check in after he set out to meet friends. She called a friend and together they went to search the route and the area Noah would head for.
“As a parent, I felt something was wrong,” Fiona said. “I continued to worry. I looked up and down the street as it got darker. I didn’t want to call the police because when I called the police, I realized something was wrong. “
A report of a missing person about Noah came out the next morning, beginning a mass search for the teenager. Fiona notes that 24 hours after Noah disappeared, his bike was found at the top of a dead end dead end.
Noah’s aunt said that during the search, “two eyewitnesses said they saw a child riding a bicycle naked and thought it was a hoax for Father’s Day.”
Fiona remarked, “They both said they thought it was a hoax for Father’s Day, a child naked on a bicycle.”
Six days after the search began, Noah’s naked body was discovered in a drainage storm on June 27th.
Fiona now says, “I actually have so many problems with this search, and the police strategy over this search and why it took six days.”
She added: “I know instinctively, he was trying to find another storm drain that was open,” she said. “Maybe he thought, there’s another way out, and that’s just my instinct.”
“It was found 20 meters from another shaft, but it took six days. I have questions to the police about why it took six days and what their strategy was. “
Fiona says she and her family are grateful for the outpouring of support from the wider community and for how Noah’s school, St. Malachi, came together in honor of the late teenager after his death.
Since then, the Noah Donohoe Foundation has been launched as a way to honor deceased teenagers who have taken a keen interest in sports, academia and music.