GAA star’s parents ‘condemned to lifetime’ of not knowing how son died

  • WATCH: Connor Marron's parents give their only TV interview to UTV's Judith Hill:

The parents of a rising GAA star are 'condemned to a lifetime' of misery after a coroner recorded an open verdict into his death.

Connor Marron, who was also a junior national snooker champion, was in London for the first time with a friend to watch the PDC World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace, hours before he died.

The 19-year-old was fatally struck by a train just north of Hornsey station just before 1am on 2 January 2022.

Connor Marron, 19, was from Ballymena.

Connor, who was a second-year university student, had been to the darts on the night of 1 January with his pal Oisin Connolly before they went to the Victoria Stakes pub near the venue.

When they got to the pub Connor realised he had lost his phone and went back towards Alexandra Palace to try and find it.  

A coroner told the inquest in Barnet, north London that it is “impossible to be clear” about what happened between then and when he was struck by the train.

The court heard that a stretch of water lies just before the train tracks which is not well signposted. It also heard how a fence beside the train tracks is not well kept.  

Connor was not seen or captured on CCTV at any point during that time.

The inquest heard that Connor was soaked from the waist down and was not wearing his trainers when he was struck by a train.

The coroner ruled an open verdict in the inquest.

His trainers have never been recovered. It is believed Connor may have passed through the New River, and a gap in a railway fence, before trying to cross the railway tracks between the two stations.

The inquest heard evidence that the trains run quiet and the train CCTV shows that the tracks were dark.

Representatives for the Marron family said that the Coroner intends to issue a Prevention of Future Deaths Report to Thames Water and Network Rail. The concerns which may give rise to a future death are:

  • Thames Water: the stretch of the New River next to the railway tracks is not illuminated. One witness described that area as “pitch black”. The Coroner considered there should be sufficient illumination and signage to warn pedestrians of the body of water.

  • Network Rail: there was discontinuity of the railway fence. The Coroner considered that the fence must be kept in good repair and that adequate signage and illumination are provided.

Connor’s parents, Fergal Marron and Sharon Doherty, said on behalf of the family: “We are relieved that the painful inquest process has come to an end. However, many questions remain unanswered as to what happened to Connor before he accessed the railways tracks."

Tara Mulcair of Birnberg Peirce solicitors said: “Connor’s family are extremely grateful to the Senior Coroner for his careful consideration of Connor’s inquest. Network Rail and Thames Water must now take urgent steps in order to protect the public and prevent a future tragedy of this kind."

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