Northern Ireland

Noah Donohoe: Police launch investigation into access to storm drain where teenager was found

Noah Donohoe (14) was found dead in a storm drain in north Belfast in June. File picture from Donohoe family, Press Association
Noah Donohoe (14) was found dead in a storm drain in north Belfast in June. File picture from Donohoe family, Press Association Noah Donohoe (14) was found dead in a storm drain in north Belfast in June. File picture from Donohoe family, Press Association

Police have launched an investigation over access to a storm drain where teenager Noah Donohoe was found.

Noah's body was recovered from a drain close to the M2 motorway on June 27, six days after he went missing in Belfast.

The PSNI said last year they believed the 14-year-old entered the drain in the Northwood Road area of north Belfast.

A separate coroner's investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the St Malachy's College schoolboy is ongoing.

Police said last night they had launched "a separate investigation regarding 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 post-mortem examination found that the teenager died as a result of drowning.

The full inquest into his death is scheduled to begin in January next year.

A preliminary inquest on January 18 heard that the PSNI had received a report that Noah may have been assaulted as he cycled through Belfast.

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