Gearoid's killer is 'humbled' by victim's mother

regret: Simmons responds to mum's plea

Alan O'Keeffe

THE man charged with the manslaughter of Dubliner Gearoid Walsh in Australia was "humbled" by the humanity of the dead man's mother, his lawyer declared today.

Tobias Liam Simmons (28) handed himself over to police following an emotional appeal by grieving mother Tressa Walsh that he should not "torture himself" over what happened.

The Irishman (23) died on Thursday after a late-night row with Simmons in Sydney last Sunday.

In court today, the accused man's lawyer Peter Bodor told the judge that Simmons "deeply regrets what happened".

The lawyer said: "He's devastated as are many people, but he's also very grateful and humbled by Mrs Walsh's generosity of spirit and her humanity."


Simmons turned himself in at a police station just a few hours after Mrs Walsh made a televised appeal in which she declared: "As a mother, I really feel for this guy who got into a fight with Gearoid. I am heartbroken for him because we don't blame him, we don't want him to serve time in prison.

"I think he was just very, very unlucky. We don't want him to torture himself over this, we don't see it as a murder. Gearoid was very tall, he was 6ft 2in; he had a long way to fall."

Today, Simmons appeared in Parramatta Bail Court via video link, while his parents were in court for the hearing.

The court heard the victim appeared up until a certain stage to be the aggressor and that it was a "one-punch scenario".

The magistrate said that he took into account Simmons's good work and community ties in granting conditional bail.

The court was told that Gearoid Walsh swore at his brother when he tried to stop him from returning to an argument that led to his death.


The judge was told the 23-year-old man Irishman was visiting Sydney to celebrate his sister Aoife's 22nd birthday when he got into a fight outside a takeaway food shop in Coogee in the city's eastern suburbs.

Simmons has been charged with manslaughter, reckless wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was granted bail today.

Police allege Simmons delivered the blow to Mr Walsh which caused him to fall onto concrete and hit his head. The Irishman never regained consciousness.

Magistrate Zdenkowski took Simmons' "unblemished prior character" into account when he granted bail conditions to the project administrator, who completed a Bachelor of Construction Management in 2007, and has been working on a building site in the city.


"There is an allegation of self-defence," said the judge. "There are statements about prior conduct on behalf of the alleged victim that could be, as some have suggested, provocative."

Simmons' bail conditions include forfeiting $10,000 if he breaches bail, and attending Waverley police station three times a week. He will reappear at Waverley Local Court on November 18.

Mother-of-five Tressa Walsh flew to Australia to be at his son's hospital bedside.

She later made a widely publicised plea for the man involved in the row with her son to come forward "to get some peace" and "closure".