Belfast Telegraph

Groups assisting families of Joe McDermott and Gerard Bradley to get bodies repatriated

By Cate McCurry

An organisation set up in Australia to provide support to the Irish community in times of crisis has been comforting friends of the two young men who were killed in a building site accident in Perth.

Joe McDermott, from Co Tyrone, and Gerard Bradley, from Co Londonderry, were killed when a concrete slab fell as they were on a work break.

The Claddagh Association has been providing assistance to their families in helping to bring their sons home.

The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, set up to assist families who have lost loved ones abroad, is also helping the McDermott and Bradley families and is working alongside the Claddagh Association.

Earlier this week, a Co Armagh man was killed when the car he was travelling in crashed in Western Australia.

Alan Haughey (28) from Craigavon was a back seat passenger in a 4x4 which lost control on a bend in the Mount Burgess area on Saturday afternoon.

A representative from the Claddagh Association said that the organisation had spoken to the mother of one of the young men killed in yesterday's tragic accident.

They also confirmed they were helping the girlfriend of the other man.

"Every one is so shocked by it all and it affects a lot of people, particularly as there were two of them," a Claddagh Association spokesman said.

"The bodies will now be at the coroner's office and it may take some time before there are flown home.

"I don't believe either family is coming out to Australia. I understand one of them has family in Tasmania, so they may come to Perth.

"Joe and Gerry were standing out the front of the building where they were working, for a smoke, just after their break and there was a truck being unloaded of concrete.

"Workers were taking it off the back of the truck and it tipped over and fell.

"With the influx of the Irish, things have become a little busier for us.

"We have another body of a man from Craigavon and another lad who was injured on a building site when he fell of a ladder.

"We have had nine Irish people die in Perth during the last three weeks."

The welfare group helps to organise the repatriation of Irish people when they have no family in Perth.

The association has an undertaker and a travel agent who help in bringing bodies back to Northern Ireland and work with the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

Belfast Telegraph


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