Belfast Telegraph

Hundreds bid farewell to 'gentle giant' Joe McDermott, who died on Australian building site

By Cate McCurry

Mourners at the funeral of a Co Tyrone man killed on a building site in Australia heard yesterday that he was a "gentle giant with an infectious personality".

Joe McDermott, who died alongside Gerard Bradley after a concrete slab fell on top of them, was buried in his hometown of Omagh.

At the weekend Mr Bradley, who was 29 and from Ringsend, was buried after a ceremony in St Malachy's Church, Coleraine.

Hundreds of mourners packed into Sacred Heart Church in Omagh to pay their last respects to the young man, with the service streamed live on a webcam for friends in Perth where he died. The priest told the mass of how the 24-year-old only recently set off for Australia after "summing up the courage to begin a new life".

Less than two weeks after the tragic work accident, his family described him as a "gentle giant, a comedian with an infectious personality, a great friend, an amazing brother and the perfect son" in a tribute.

Omagh parish priest Monsignor Joseph Donnelly told the congregation that Joe's sudden death had been met with disbelief and shock in the town.

Known as 'Hoss' to his friends, the former barman was fondly remembered during the service.

The congregation were told: "So many people are going to miss the presence of Joe in their lives. He was a popular young man, he left an impression on people wherever he was."

He was buried in Drumragh graveyard.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph