Saturday 24 March 2018

Farm fire victim only left for Perth a month ago

Tom Shiel and  Anne-Marie Walsh

THE grieving parents of a young man killed in a farm blaze are expected to travel to the scene of the tragedy in Australia.

Kieran Tynan (22), of Lisacul, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, had only travelled out to Western Australia a month ago.

He perished in a fire on a farm outside Perth.

A gas bottle explosion is believed to have caused the fire at a building at the Mackie Hay Plant early on Saturday.

Mr Tynan and around 20 other workers were housed in accommodation on the farm for the hay-cutting season.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the body of the victim has not been formally identified, but the Irish Embassy in Canberra is providing consular assistance to the Tynan family.

Friends said that Mr Tynan's father Martin, who used to work for Dawn Meats, and his mother Margaret were likely to travel to New Norcia.

The eldest of four children, Mr Tynan told friends he bought a car not long after his arrival.

He has two brothers, and a sister who runs a hairdressing salon in Ballaghaderreen.

Mr Tynan was in an accommodation unit at the plant in New Norcia when the fire broke out at around 4.30am, causing the roof to collapse.

He was the only one in a kitchenette in the building, about 140km north of Perth.

It is understood that other Irish workers who escaped the fire were housed in a separate building.

Tributes have been pouring in on Facebook for the young man nicknamed 'Tiny', who was described as a "legend". "Why do bad things always happen to good people?" asked one friend.

The parish priest of Lisacul, Fr Brendan McDonagh, led prayers for Kieran and his family at Masses over the weekend.

Senator John Kelly, who lives in the same Roscommon village, said he had known Mr Tynan since he was a teenager and spoke to him before his departure.


"My deepest sympathies are with his family," he said. "He was like everybody else around here, who went to Australia because they had no work, or because their friends went.

"In this case, I think it was a bit of both. He was an outgoing and likeable lad."

According to local police, there was little emergency workers could do to save Kieran.

Sergeant Ben Tomasini said Mr Tynan had been working as a farmhand.

"He was certainly well liked by his work colleagues and his employer," he said. "The owners are very distressed and upset and their hearts have gone out to the man's family."

Irish Independent

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