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Sunday 17 December 2017

Perth attack victim's body home

Thomas Keaney
Thomas Keaney

Geraldine Gittens and Caroline Crawford

A young Irishman who died after he was attacked in Australia had planned to return to college this year to become a personal trainer.

Thomas Keaney (23), from Ballyconneely, Co Galway, died in Perth last month after his life support was switched off.

He had been the victim of an assault on December 17.

As his remains were brought back home today, his sister Lauren said the family had been left "broken" by his death.

She revealed how Thomas had been studying fitness prior to travelling to Australia and planned to come home later this year to take up the career again.

"He was hoping to come back to start college in September. His whole passion in life was fitness and he wanted to become a personal trainer and help people," she said.

Locals in Connemara have held a number of fundraising events since the news of Thomas's tragic death spread. They raised enough money to bring the young Galway man home.

Thomas will be buried at Gurteen cemetery on Friday after funeral Mass in Roundstone, Co Galway.

Lauren said the support from the local community and that shown to her parents in Australia had been "unbelievable".

Sean McAleer, who was involved in the fundraising campaign, said the response had been "phenomenal".

"People were very generous. Everybody just wanted to help. Thomas was such a well liked young guy, everybody thought so much of him," he added.

Irish Independent

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