Irishman killed in Madagascar was due to become a father
A YOUNG Irishman who was killed in a quad bike accident in Madagascar was due to become a father for the first time within weeks.
John Paul Gallagher, who was in his early 30s and from Bothar Bui, Ballaghaderreen Co Roscommon, died last Friday following a quad bike accident on the Indian Ocean island.
Mr Gallagher had been working as an industrial electrical contractor on the African island.
It's understood he and a number of friends had hired quad bikes for the day when his bike toppled over on rough terrain, fatally injuring him.
He had lived on the island for the past number of years. His partner Erin, who is expecting the couple's first child, had been working in Scotland.
Mr Gallagher had recently accepted a job on the oil rigs in the North Sea off Scotland as he wanted to be closer to home with the birth of his first child.
"The family are devastated. They were expecting their first baby in about six weeks' time," said one friend.
The young man is survived by his parents Tom and Kathleen and siblings Pamela, Michael and Peter. His family are now making arrangements to have his remains flown home for burial.
Devastated friends paid tribute to Mr Gallagher.
"He was a lovely lad and a very easy guy to chat to. He loved coming home and really enjoying the bit of craic. He'd been out there for a number of years," said one local.
Local councillor Michael Mulligan said the entire community had been left stunned by the tragic death. "The whole area is devastated by this and our sympathies go out to his family," he added.
Mr Gallagher's remains are expected to be released to the family tomorrow. They will then be repatriated home for burial early next week. The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the family.