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tragic accident Soldier Gerard McMahon died from drowning at Costa del Sol holiday home, post-mortem confirms

Forensic experts have also confirmed there were no 'defence injuries' that might point to a crime taking place


Soldier Gerard McMahon

Soldier Gerard McMahon

Soldier Gerard McMahon

Soldier Gerard McMahon died from drowning at a luxury Costa del Sol holiday home, a post-mortem has confirmed.

Forensic experts have also confirmed there were no “defence injuries” that might point to a crime taking place and have concluded police were right to categorise it as a tragic accident.

The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at a rented €8,500-a-week villa in the upmarket resort of Marbella last Friday after being pulled out of the swimming pool by friends.

The results of initial toxicology tests have not been made public, although tissue samples taken from the dead man are now expected to be analysed at a specialist lab with results not due back for several weeks.

Police sources confirmed at the weekend the group of friends Gerard, who lived in the Killaloe area of Co Clare, was with had gone out partying the day before he was found dead.

A source close to the investigation confirmed on Thursday: “The post-mortem has confirmed the cause of death as submersion or drowning.

“No signs of any defensive wounds which might have suggested there was anything more to this than a tragic accident were found during the autopsy.”

On Wednesday it emerged Mr McMahon, who joined the army in January 2017 and was based in Dun Ui Mhaoliosa Barracks in Galway, had just returned from a six-month tour of Syria with the 63rd Infantry Group.

The Defence Forces said he had served “with distinction.”

Gerard hailed from a big GAA family and local club Ogonnelloe where he used to play paid tribute to him after learning the devastating news of his death.

A spokesman for the club said: “It is with profound shock and sadness that we learned today of the sudden passing of our young member and friend, Gerard McMahon.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his parents Pat and Carmel, his sister Bríd, and all the McMahon family at this extremely difficult time.”

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Matches took place as normal over the weekend in accordance with his family’s wishes but a minute’s silence was observed before every game.

Police had indicated at the weekend they saw nothing suspicious in Gerard’s death.

One source said: “It appears he went out with friends and may have drowned after going for a dip in the pool when he got back although that is still under investigation.”

The alarm was raised just before 10.30am last Friday.

Local reports said Gerard’s friends found him floating in the pool when they got up and managed to pull him out of the water before alerting emergency services.

The luxury villa where neighbours said the tragedy occurred is a six-bed house with a pool in a tree-lined cul-de-sac a short walk from the upmarket port of Puerto Banus.

It is on a residential estate called Finca La Judia, although that is not the name of the property as a Spanish local newspaper reported at the time.

The house is available to rent around this time of the year for around EUROS 8,500 a week according to travel websites.

The large palm tree-lined pool where the Irishman’s body was found overlooks a stunning mountain behind Marbella called La Concha, English for The Shell.

A neighbour said in the aftermath of the tragedy: “There were young people staying in the house.

“I saw them going out for dinner the other day and discovered someone had died there after the night I saw them. It’s terrible to think someone so young lost their life here.”

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