Thursday 14 December 2017

'A genuine talent': Tributes to Irish tourist (25) who died after riverboat fall

Niall Quinn.
Niall Quinn.
Police and volunteers search for the man. Photo: ABC news Newsdesk Newsdesk

TRIBUTES have been pouring in for the Irish tourist whose body was recovered from a river in Australia.

It is believed that the 25-year-old Niall Quinn man fell from the top deck of a houseboat into the Murray River on the New South Wales-Victorian border.

Mr Quinn is understood to originally be from Co Armagh, and to have been working as a builder.

Today, Silverbridge Harps Gaelic football club called Mr Quinn "a genuine talent and a proud son of our club".

On the club's Facebook page, a statement said: "Devastated to hear of untimely death of Niall Quinn. Our sympathy and support to family and friends."

Police said the man, who was staying on the houseboat with a group of friends, fell from the top deck and into the river at Echuca Moama about 1.40am local time.

His friends reportedly jumped in to save him but were unable to find him.

“On the way down he’s actually collided with the bottom deck of the houseboat and fallen into the water and gone under,” NSW Police Force’s Acting Superintendent Peter Hayes said.

Emergency services and about 10 private boats joined the police in searching for the man, and Victoria Police divers recovered a body at about 3.45pm local time.

it is understood Mr Quinn was part of a group of Irish living in Melbourne. His parents are travelling from Northern Ireland.

Police said there did not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident.

The Dept of Foreign Affairs has said it is aware of the case.

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