Mum of boy, 14, whose naked body was found in storm drain demands ‘the truth’

The devastated mum of a teenager found dead in a storm drain has demanded “the truth” about his disappearance and death.

The naked body of Noah Donohoe, 14, was recovered near the M2 motorway in Belfast in June, six days after he went missing in the north of the city.

Noah was seen cycling with no clothes on and falling off his bike shortly before he went missing. A postmortem examination found he died as a result of drowning.

The schoolboy’s grieving mother, Fiona Donohoe, wept as she tied a ribbon and a message demanding “the truth” to the gates of Stormont on Thursday night.

Joined by hundreds of her supporters in a cavalcade of cars, she called for a “thorough investigation” into what happened to her son, and said: “Every parent should know their child should be able to go out and come home safely.”

Ms Donohoe said she was not at liberty to comment on the current police probe into Noah’s death or whether she was satisfied with the work of investigators.

She said: “All I want is for an investigation, a thorough investigation for my son, for every child in Northern Ireland.

“All I’m looking for, like any parent that’s standing here now, is justice, answers.”

A coroner’s hearing was told there is no evidence that Noah was attacked or that any other person was involved.

In November, a coroner’s representative told a brief review hearing at Laganside courthouse that footage surrounding Noah’s disappearance had been reviewed and the police file was almost complete.

Barrister Declan Quinn said at the time: “The police are investigating health and safety issues that may arise in this inquest.”

The next pre-inquest hearing is due to take place later this month.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said last year they believe Noah entered the drain in the Northwood Road area of north Belfast, and they did not suspect foul play.

He had cycled to the area from his home in south Belfast and, shortly before he went missing on June 21 last year, was seen with no clothes on.

Emotional vigil held in memory of Belfast teen Noah Donohoe

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

His disappearance prompted a major search operation, with hundreds of people from across Belfast involved.

The search came to a tragic end when Noah’s body was discovered in the half mile-long drain on June 27.

Plans to hold the full inquest in January should be postponed and another review hearing scheduled instead, due to the nature of preliminary matters arising, family lawyer Niall Murphy said in November.

He said matters surrounding the disclosure of evidence and inquiries into health and safety and whether they may impact on progress should be better understood by then.

Noah’s body was found by specially trained police officers between two drain access points within a section of storm drain tunnel running under the Translink public transport cleaning facility access road.