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Irishman (61) who died after alleged assault in New Zealand honoured at memorial service

Mr Kelly died in hospital after he was allegedly assaulted after being chased from a Christchurch bus depot

Anthony Michael Kelly (61)


Irish expatriates and members of the Irish-Kiwi community in New Zealand have paid tribute to an Irish father-of-two who died following an alleged assault in Christchurch last month.

The Irish Society based in Christchurch held a memorial service today at 3:15pm local time for self-employed landscaper and horticulturist Anthony Michael Kelly (61).

Mr Kelly, who was born in Ireland but moved to New Zealand several decades ago, died in hospital ten days after he was allegedly assaulted after being chased from a bus depot and attacked in the city’s Cashel Street around 6:20pm local time on October 18.

He suffered a serious head injury and was rushed to Christchurch Hospital and placed on life support machine where he battled for his life.

An on online obituary read: “A life ended too soon, his Irish charm and love of people will be sadly missed. He has friends spreading from Ireland to the many other shores he visited over his life packed with adventure. Loved father of twins Laura and Ryan. Fondly remembered brother and brother-in-law of John and Mary (Ireland); Phil and Sarah (Jersey), and his nieces and nephews. Tony believed, live every day like it is your last.”

Mr Kelly also lived in Wellington on the North Island previously.

A post from the Auckland Irish Club read: “Our thoughts and prayers are with our community in Christchurch. A member of the Christchurch Irish Society was attacked just over a week ago and sadly passed away on Friday. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. May he rest in peace.”

It’s understood that Mr Kelly spent several hours landscaping a memorial garden at the Irish Society’s headquarters in Christchurch the weekend before he was attacked.

A friend said he was “always willing to help out wherever he could, adding he was “a man with a heart of gold, a hell of a nice guy.”

Meanwhile, sections of Cashel Street in the city centre were cordoned off by investigating officers for several hours after the alleged assault to allow for forensic examinations to be carried out.

An 18-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested in relation to the incident and appeared at Christchurch District Court last week charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Police in Christchurch said in a statement that further charges against the teenager are being considered, adding ”there will be no further comment from the family or police.”

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