Irishman dies in workplace accident in Australia

Australian police car (Stock image)
Australian police car (Stock image)

An Irish worker has been killed in a workplace accident in Australia.

Paul Walsh from Rhue, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, was working on a telecommunications broadband installation project when he suffered a fatal head injury.

He was working in the town of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains region when he became the victim of "an industrial accident," said police.

His death shocked and saddened the Irish community in Sydney and preparations were put in place to return his remains to Ireland.

He was working for a contractor on one of Australia's biggest projects - the national broadband network roll-out.

The accident happened on Friday last in a popular tourist area.

Bill Morrow, chief executive of National Broadband Network, said: "This is tragic news and we are doing all thatt we can to assist. The thoughts of everyone at NBN are with the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased at this very sad time."

One of Paul's friends in Australia, Louise Lane, told the Herald that family and friends were waiting for the remains to be released by the authorities so that he can make his final journey home for burial in Co Sligo.

He played Gaelic football for his local GAA club in Sligo, Tourlestrane, as a corner back, before he emigrated to Australia.

A number of club fixtures were postponed over the weekend as a mark of respect.

A club statement offered sincere condolences to his mother Elizabeth and his brother John. His father passed away last summer.

A minutes silence was held before the start of a minor game between Tourlestrane and Ballymote as a mark of respect.

A spokesman for Tourlestrane GAA club said that the local community was deeply saddened by his death.  Paul was aged 37 and had emigrated to Australia around seven years ago, the spokesman said.