Ibiza tragedy: Grieving family hoping for change in the law

Alan Drennan (21) was found dead in his hotel room in Ibiza on July 19.
Alan Drennan (21) was found dead in his hotel room in Ibiza on July 19.

The father of a young Newtownabbey man who died suddenly while on holiday in Ibiza last month says he hopes his son’s death will help bring about a change in the law.

Alan Drennan (21), from the Lakeview area of Mossley, was found dead in his hotel room in San Antonio on July 19.

The cause of his death is still unclear, though his friends claim that he was beaten by Spanish police and sustained a head injury just hours before his death.

The former Glengormley High School pupil’s grieving family are now awaiting the results of a second post-mortem examination, which was carried out in Dublin at the end of July.

Alan Drennan’s father, Alan senior, says he hopes his son’s tragic death will help bring about a change in the inquest law to allow the Coroner here the power to investigate deaths that occur outside Northern Ireland.

“If Alan’s death helps to bring about a change in the law, then that would be the legacy we wish for our son,” Mr Drennan said.

“I want to thank the public for the enormous support shown to my family over the last few weeks since Alan’s death. In particular I want to thank Colin Bell who helped to repatriate Alan’s body in difficult circumstances.

“I also want to express our gratitude to the Coroner in Dublin, Dr Farrell, for directing a second post-mortem to be conducted.”

He continued: “I would like to raise awareness of the fact that the Court of Appeal of Northern Ireland recommended in 2009 that legislation should be introduced to give the Coroner in Northern Ireland the power to investigate deaths that occur outside Northern Ireland. If Alan’s death helps to bring about a change in the law that helps other families in our situation then that would be the legacy we wish for our son.

“We await the outcome of the second post-mortem, but whatever the result it will not bring our Alan back. I want to make sure that what happened Alan will not happen to other young people who go abroad on holiday. I want to stress to young people to look after themselves when they go abroad and to avoid making themselves vulnerable.”