Sunday 21 December 2014

Families devastated as two Irish die in separate accidents abroad

Caroline Crawford, Cormac Murphy and Allison Bray

Published 01/04/2014 | 02:30

Kevin Browne (left) and Robert McHale
Kevin Browne (left) and Robert McHale

THE HEARTBROKEN families of two young Irishmen who died abroad are making arrangements to have their bodies brought back home.

Robert McHale (23), from Galway, and Kevin Browne (27), from Dublin, died in tragic accidents in China and Australia respectively.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is liaising with both families as they make arrangements to bring both young men home.

Meanwhile, friends of both men have told of their shock at the sudden deaths.

Robert McHale's parents Georgina and Vincent have travelled to Shanghai to formally identify their son whose remains were discovered on Saturday. It is understood he drowned after slipping into a river in the city. He had been missing from his apartment since last Monday.

Separately, the family of an Irishman who died in Australia at the weekend were being comforted at their Clondalkin home yesterday.

Dubliner Kevin Browne (27) is believed to have slipped and fallen to his death at the Hard Times replica mining attraction in the mining town of Mount Isa in Queensland early on Sunday morning.

His body was found at 11am local time on Sunday at the site, which is fenced off from the public.

It is understood that a number of his relatives are now travelling to Australia.

Mr McHale had been in China for the past six months teaching English. He was due to return home next week.

His brother Oisin praised the young man's co-workers in Shanghai for all their assistance in the search.

UPBEAT

One friend who last spoke to him a day before he went missing described Robert as "up-beat" adding: "He was still buzzed about Ireland beating France in the rugby."

Locals in his native Galway expressed shock at the death of the young man who was described as a talented writer who loved to travel.

Tributes were also paid to "happy-go-lucky" Mr Browne. He and his partner Jane were a popular couple in the Irish community in Mount Isa.

Police say they are not treating the death as suspicious.

Irish Independent

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