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family's anger Noah Donohoe's mum says PSNI warned her they would serve her with a warrant over access to her son's email accounts

Heartbroken Fiona Donohoe told of her anger at case handling eight months after tragedy

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Determination: Fiona this week at a mural in tribute to her son on Belfast’s Falls Road. Photo: Conor McCaughley

Determination: Fiona this week at a mural in tribute to her son on Belfast’s Falls Road. Photo: Conor McCaughley

Determination: Fiona this week at a mural in tribute to her son on Belfast’s Falls Road. Photo: Conor McCaughley

PSNI detectives warned the mother of Noah Donohoe they would serve her with a warrant over access to email accounts on the tragic schoolboy’s electronic devices, she has revealed.

Heartbroken Fiona Donohoe told the Sunday World how the demand was made just a number of weeks ago after previously telling the family they had fully forensically investigated all her son’s devices, including his laptop, last year.

However, three weeks ago the mum was again contacted by investigators who said they had not looked at a number of email accounts on Noah’s computer.

After asking for access, which was verbally granted through her solicitor, Fiona said she was then warned that police could issue a warrant against her.

She told the Sunday World: “In August we were told in black and white from the police that they forensically checked Noah’s laptop, phone and Kindle and his emails.

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Musical memento: Fiona at home this week with Noah’s cello in the background. Photo: Conor McCaughley

Musical memento: Fiona at home this week with Noah’s cello in the background. Photo: Conor McCaughley

Musical memento: Fiona at home this week with Noah’s cello in the background. Photo: Conor McCaughley

“They exhausted everything and couldn’t find anything.

“Three weeks ago, they came back and said, ‘Oh sorry we haven’t checked all of Noah’s emails’.

“There are four emails, one of them is mine because I was a guest on Noah’s laptop, and then there are three others. So, they only checked his, they didn’t check mine or the two others.

“They wanted me, without my sister Niamh, to go to their office... me, my solicitor to meet four other police officers. How intimidating.

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Noah Donohoe

Noah Donohoe

Noah Donohoe

“First they wanted me to remotely change the passwords on my son’s email so they could get access. Then in the next sentence they said, do not hamper with any of the information as it may corrupt the evidence. Those are loaded words.

“Then they asked me to come down to the office, without Niamh, four police officers and [solicitor] Niall Murphy so I could give my consent.

“I told Niall that I verbally gave my consent to reset the passwords.

“A week later, they sent an email with another loaded word. They said they may have to issue a warrant to me to get the password.

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CCTV footage of Noah Donohoe on his bike

CCTV footage of Noah Donohoe on his bike

CCTV footage of Noah Donohoe on his bike

“I gave my consent through my solicitor.”

Fiona added: “They use the word warrant with me yet they can’t get a warrant for the suspects and career criminals named by a witness as being involved in an assault. It’s loaded wording.

“They also used the word warrant with the Department for Infrastructure to seize information from them, the two groups of people who want to help.”

Earlier this month it was revealed how police had begun a corporate manslaughter investigation into the death of the Belfast teenager, whose body was found six days after he went missing on a bike ride across the city last year.

The PSNI confirmed it was investigating access to the storm drain, which is owned by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).

As the Dfl is responsible for the network at Premier Drive/Northwood Road, it could be found liable.

In a statement, the department said there was “no case against them”.

“DfI have been advised that an investigation into the offence of corporate manslaughter has been launched and the department is cooperating fully with all aspects of this investigation,” a spokesperson said.

“No further comment can be made while these investigations are continuing.” The PSNI said detectives were “working in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive and Public Prosecution Service”.

A coronial investigation into the circumstances of Noah’s death is ongoing. This week his mother told the Sunday World she felt police were not adequately investigating the circumstances of his disappearance and death.

“It’s so important that the police learn about the character of the individual, because if you know the character...

“They are going down the route of misadventure and the psychology of how Noah was feeling. That is the way they are swaying it, I believe.

“I’ve looked at suicide, I’ve had to looked at every perspective. They have only looked at one, this misadventure.”

The family were forced to launch their own campaign to find answers over Noah’s disappearance and death last year.

In the last eight months Fiona and her sister Niamh have spoken to witnesses, businesses on the final route throughout Noah’s journey and those living in the area where he was last seen alive.

Fiona herself even made contact with a search and rescue worker who helped in finding her son’s remains.

“There was a complaint from the police about me contacting a person involved in the search. They said it was alarming, that was the word they used.

“It’s just disgraceful. They are not giving us any information, but they will come to me with complaints and [mention of a]warrant.”

She added: “It’s eight months now, and we have no facts. Did something happen on the street where Noah was last seen as well? We don’t know.

“You have to do your own investigation yourself, and you shouldn’t have to. Me and Niamh are living and breathing this.”

The family have also revealed how they found much-needed support and guidance from investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre.

The fearless 55-year-old has put together a team of top investigators, including Stephen Lawrence murder detective Clive Driscoll, to help the Donohoes in their fight for answers.

The crack team will examine Noah’s case in a documentary, which is currently in production.

Said Niamh: “We have done so much of this investigation ourselves but now we have Donal MacIntyre helping us and Clive Driscoll.”

Fiona added: “We really feel we are getting guidance from Donal and Clive.

“There’s some things that are too terrifying to think about. As a parent, I think because Noah went through it, I should go through it.

“I am terrified and I have to bring myself out of it. But at some stage I will have to, because Noah went through it.

“You have to compartmentalise. You can’t look at it all as it would be too much.

"There are things which would never be clinical because there was just so much love. As far as the police are concerned, there’s anger. It’s fuelled with love for Noah, but there is anger.

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Noah with his mother Fiona.

Noah with his mother Fiona.

Noah with his mother Fiona.


“He was my everything. I don’t want this to happen to any other child and I don’t want it to happen to a parent as well because your whole life... this investigation is Noah and thank God for the foundation.”

The Noah Donohoe Foundation was set up by Fiona to leave a lasting legacy for the son she says had “so much” potential.

“I was putting it to one side for a while because I was focusing on the investigation but it’s Noah’s legacy.

“If we see one child in the future that had a talent but their parents couldn’t afford a guitar, a cello, if that child gets what Noah got out of it, it would just be so beautiful.

“That is Noah living through them, he will live through their spirit. I would love someone to want to play the cello because they will have been inspired by Noah.

“He had so much potential. I sound so biased, but Noah was so humble. He would be embarrassed but he deserves for people to know what an amazing wee boy he was. And I know he would be so embarrassed by that.

“He did amazing in his schoolwork, he put everything into sports, his music. I am so blessed that I told him how amazing he was, and I am so grateful I did.

“I have no regrets as a parent because he knows how much I love him.”

Fiona added: “I had a wee contract with Noah that he was going to build an annex and I was going to look after his children.

“That was our wee contract that I wasn’t going to go into a care home.”

Noah’s aunt Niamh said: “Everyone who met Noah, he made such an impression on people. When my partner met him he said, where would you get a wee boy like that? He was just a wee dote. He was so special, and his potential knew no bounds.”

The sisters say it is the support of the public and ‘Noah’s Army’ that has pulled them through their darkest days.

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Noah

Noah

Noah

“Niamh knows every fine detail but see when it is tough on both of us, see just the support we see on social media, or seeing a blue heart on someone’s car or front door, or even the prayers,” said Fiona.

“See the power of prayer, it really has given us the strength.”

Niamh added: “There are days genuinely we are saying, how are we going to get through this? But then someone sends us a message. They don’t realise the power of doing that.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and death of Noah Donohoe on behalf of the Coroner.

"At all times, we seek to work sensitively with Noah’s loved ones and with their consent as we make inquiries.”

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