Wednesday 18 September 2019

Families of men killed in Australia pay tribute

Joe McDermott (left) and Gerry Bradley
Joe McDermott (left) and Gerry Bradley

Cate McCurry

The families of the two young Irishmen who were crushed to death on a building site in Perth have spoken of their devastation.

Joe McDermott (24), from Co Tyrone, and Gerry Bradley (27), from Co Derry, were killed after a slab of concrete fell on top of them at a construction site in eastern Perth yesterday morning.

Last night, their families led tributes to the two men, as concerns were raised about the safety of the site they were working on. Speaking from their Omagh home, Mr McDermott's parents, Tommy and Donna, and sister Lauren, said they were "so proud" of their son, who was known to his friends as 'Hoss'. He had only moved to Australia recently.

"We will always remember him as the bright and bubbly young man that he was. We are so proud of our son, who is so well known and popular, and he was so selfless and touched so many lives," they said.

"Our thoughts are also with the other family affected by this tragedy."

Mr Bradley's brother, Gregory, was last night with his family at their Portstewart home. He said they "can't believe what has happened" to the talented golfer, who was looking forward to returning home for Christmas.

"I don't know anyone who had a bad word to say about [him]. We can't believe what happened. He enjoyed life," his brother added.

It's understood the young men were having a cigarette break when the concrete slab fell on top of them from a nearby truck, according to local reports.

The incident occurred at approximately 11.30am in Australia yesterday.

It is understood there were more than 50 workers on the site at the time, which is being operated by construction company Jaxon in the Western Australian city.

The company released a statement expressing their "heartfelt thoughts and condolences" to the families, loved ones and colleagues of the victims.

The site, in East Perth, has now been closed and is under the control of the coroner.

The Claddagh Association and Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund have been providing assistance to the men's families in helping to bring their sons' remains home.

The tragedy comes just days after Alan Haughey, from Craigavon in Co Armagh, lost his life following a road accident in Perth on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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