By Patrick Markey
Cian O’Kennedy was due to head home this weekend after spending the summer in Canada.
Instead, relatives of the 19-year-old Dublin student are making arrangements for his body to be flown back to Ireland after he was killed in a fatal fall from the window of a Manhattan hotel.
The Irish student had been working in Canada during his summer vacation before traveling to New York on Saturday to visit friends. O’Kennedy, from Sutton, Dublin, died at around 3:30 a.m. Sunday after he fell through a fourth floor window at the West Side Inn in Manhattan, police said.
"Nobody knows what happened. He went to sleep on Saturday night, and it seems in the morning he tripped over some luggage in the room and went out through the window," said Detective Ken Clancy of New York’s 24th Precinct.
"It’s just a simple, unfortunate accident," the detective said.
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Barry Magee, the Canada coordinator for USIT NOW, the organization that helps bring students to America and Canada, said O’Kennedy had been working in Toronto for the summer.
O’Kennedy, believed to be a student in UCD, had been due to fly back to Ireland at the end of the week. But on Monday his uncle, a priest in Alabama, arrived in New York to arrange for his body to be flown back to Ireland. Several of O’Kennedy’s friends in New York and Canada had already traveled back for the funeral, Magee said.
Every year USIT NOW brings approximately 500 Irish students to Canada and around 8,500 more to the United States, where they can work for the summer before returning to their studies.