Irishman dies crossing a river in Laos on way home from Australia
A POPULAR 23-year-old Irishman who died tragically in South East Asia has been described as a "gifted footballer and a natural leader".
The man, named locally as Gary Price from Cullane, Swinford, Co Mayo, died while crossing a swollen river in Laos in South East Asia on Sunday.
Gary, who had spent a year working in Australia with a group of friends, was about to return to Ireland when the accident claimed his life.
Gary and his group of friends had stopped off in Laos for a number of days before they were due to return home.
It is understood Mr Price drowned while attempting to cross a river despite desperate attempts to save him. His body was recovered yesterday.
The dead man's parents, Gerry and Margaret, were informed of the tragedy while holidaying in Europe. They flew home yesterday. News of Mr Price's death has shocked the community in Swinford. Gary played Gaelic football with Swinford GAA and football with Castlebar Celtic FC.
Chairman of Swinford GAA Club Michael Murtagh described Gary as a "gifted footballer" and a "natural leader on the pitch" who was extremely popular with his teammates and the whole community.
Mr Murtagh described the tragedy as "every parent's worst nightmare".
The Irish Embassy in Hanoi is providing assistance is liaising with the victim's family.