Statement from Notre Dame on IOSHA findings on Declan Sullivan tragedy

Author: Notre Dame News

Notre Dame Blue Seal

The following statements from the University of Notre Dame are in response to the findings announced Tuesday (March 15) by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration on its investigation into the tragic Oct. 27 accident that took the life of Notre Dame student Declan Sullivan:

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University: “Notre Dame has great respect for the thorough and professional manner in which IOSHA officials have conducted their investigation. We have worked collaboratively with them over the past four months and have had a chance today to take a preliminary look at their findings. We will study the details very carefully and take the actions necessary to protect the ongoing safety of our students and staff. We also are very interested in the IOSHA educational effort and have every intention of being a part of that to share what we learn.

“None of these findings can do anything to replace the loss of a young man with boundless energy and creativity. As I said last fall, we failed to keep him safe, and for that we remain profoundly sorry.”

John Affleck-Graves, executive vice president and leader of the Notre Dame investigation of the accident: “The IOSHA findings are very helpful as we begin to conclude our own comprehensive investigation. As part of the agency’s review process, we will meet with officials in the next 15 days. We expect that our report will include information gathered through the IOSHA investigation as we focus on all factors that contributed to the accident, including the series of decisions made on that day. We have committed to making a report of our investigation public and will do so once it is complete and we have finalized our review with IOSHA, which we expect to be in four to six weeks.”

Jack Swarbrick, director of athletics: “I know John Affleck-Graves is leading a wide-ranging university investigation that will incorporate the findings from IOSHA. But nothing can change the tragic reality of what occurred last October, and all of us in Irish athletics continue to grieve with the Sullivans and keep them in our prayers.”

Brian Kelly, head football coach: “Declan was a wonderful member of our football family and is missed to this day. We all continue to both grieve and keep his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers. I’m sure the university will use the findings from the state to enhance the investigation into this tragedy.”