Belfast Telegraph

Body of Tyrone man killed in Australian crash brought home

By Eamon Sweeney

The funeral of a young Co Tyrone man killed in a crash in Australia will take place in his home village this weekend.

Tiarnan Rafferty (22) died when the motorcycle he was driving collided with a car in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville.

He was treated by emergency services at the scene, but later died in hospital.

Mr Rafferty, from Galbally, had been working in construction in Australia.

He was a former student of St Ciaran's College in Ballygawley.

Requiem Mass will take place at 1pm on Sunday at the Church of St John the Baptist in Galbally, with burial in the adjoining cemetery afterwards.

It was initially thought that it could take up to 10 days for Mr Rafferty's body to be returned home from Australia. The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust assisted with bringing his remains home.

Barry Monteith, an independent representative on Mid-Ulster District Council, is a friend of Mr Rafferty's family.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "It's fantastic that we as a country have something like the Kevin Bell Trust.

"To have to deal with the trauma of a death is bad enough, but to have to deal with it when someone is so far away would be almost insurmountable if it wasn't for that organisation. I could not pay enough tribute to them."

Mr Rafferty's remains will be waked at the home of his grandparents Seamus and Pauline Girvan from this morning until his funeral Mass on Sunday. Mr Monteith said that there was widespread relief in the community that Mr Rafferty's body had been brought home.

"I suppose it's a case of the old tradition we have here of being able to pay your respects to the remains and the family and helping them through this time, but of also trying to be there for them in the weeks and months ahead," he added.

Earlier this week Fr Gerard McAleer, parish priest at Donaghmore in Co Tyrone, said that everyone he had spoken to reflected that Mr Rafferty was "a very nice young man".

He is survived by his parents Sharon and Damien, sister Aine and brother Cathair.

His mother is the national treasurer of Republican party Saoradh.

Belfast Telegraph

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