Belfast Telegraph

Distraught friends of Joe McDermott and Gerard Bradley pay tribute to tragic pair with flowers and poignant stories

By Cate McCurry and Joanne McSweeney

Friends and work colleagues of two young men from Northern Ireland who died in an accident in Australia have left tributes and flowers at the scene of the tragedy.

Joe McDermott and Gerard Bradley were on a smoke break at an apartment block in Perth where they were worked when a concrete panel fell on them.

A tricolour with the words 'RIP lads' was placed at the site where they died, and workmates laid a wreath of green and white flowers next to it.

Mr McDermott (24) from Omagh, who was known as 'Hoss', had moved to Perth just weeks ago to begin a new life, while Mr Bradley (29), from just outside Coleraine, had been in Australia for two years.

There has been an outpouring of tributes from heartbroken friends and families of both men.

Mr Bradley was a keen sportsman and had played for Portstewart Town and the University of Ulster, Coleraine (UUC) in the local Coleraine and District League.

Tom Stark from the UUC paid tribute to Mr Bradley and said that a minute's silence would be held before the side's next home game in Ballybogey tomorrow.

He added: "Gerry used to work in the Top House in Portstewart and was a popular young man at the club."

Mr Bradley had also attended the Darren Clarke Golf School in 2009-10.

The school posted a short Facebook tribute yesterday, describing him as a "gentleman" with "an awesome sense of humour" who would be greatly missed. While he was living in Perth, Mr Bradley worked as a barman in JB O'Reilly's pub, run by Irish man Paul North.

In a radio interview, Mr North said of his friend: "You never had to ask him twice to do anything. He loved where he came from but made Perth his home."

Mr McDermott's childhood friend, Darren Mullan, was among those to pay tribute to him with a touching message online.

He posted on his Facebook page: "It took me a while to be able to write this as I just didn't know what to say yesterday morning when I heard the worst news I've heard in a long time.

"One of my longest friends that I have ever known through living in Shandon (in Omagh)together, to walking to and from school every single day and to the countless rips.

"You only had to be on Facebook recently to realise what a gentleman you were and that I'm nowhere near the only person you've had a big impact on with the endless amount of friends and support you have. You're going to be missed. Rest in peace big guy. Love you Hoss."

Belfast Telegraph


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