A YOUNG Irishman died in a tragic accident in Australia over the weekend.
Kevin Terence Browne (27) is believed to have slipped and fallen to his death from a mining gantry.
It is thought that he gained access to the tourist site in the Queensland mining town of Mount Isa after a night out with friends, in the early hours of the morning.
Mr Browne was found at around 11am yesterday after he failed to return to his home in the town.
The local Australian superintendent, Russell Miller, said police are still investigating how Mr Browne gained access to the Hard Times tourist attraction which includes a replica mine shaft.
"The area where he was found, there is a six-foot fence around it. But it would appear he was able to get in," he told the Irish Echo newspaper.
"There's a mining gantry which is quite high so he would have had to climb a security barrier there as well.
"Maybe he was having a bit of a look around and may have slipped," said Supt Miller.
He confirmed that the death was not being treated as suspicious and that the man's family in Ireland as well as his partner, who lives in Mount Isa, had been contacted.
It has not been revealed where in Ireland Mr Browne is from.
The Irish Embassy said it had made contact with the family of an Irish national who had died and are providing consular assistance.
It is understood that a number of his relatives are now travelling to Australia.
Supt Miller said police are still trying to piece together Mr Browne's final movements.
The Hard Times attraction offers visitors an opportunity to descend into a replica mine in a cage with a tour guide who is a former miner and allows tourists to try out some of the machinery.
The mines in Mount Isa – a town of 22,000 people – are among the most productive in the world and are a source of lead, silver, copper and zinc.
The town is home to an established Irish community – with many attracted to the area for mining jobs – with the Mount Isa Irish Association formed back in 1955.