Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to Tyrone man Tiarnan Rafferty killed in Australia

By Eamon Sweeney

Tributes have been paid to a young Northern Ireland man who died in a road traffic accident in Australia.

Tiarnan Rafferty (22), from Galbally in Co Tyrone, was on a motorcycle which was in a collision with a car in Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney, at the weekend.

The former student of St Ciaran's College, Ballygawley had been working in the construction industry in Australia.

A statement from the New South Wales (NSW) Police confirmed that they were called to the scene of an accident just before 2pm local time on Sunday afternoon.

"The rider, a man aged 22, was treated at the scene by NSW ambulance paramedics and taken to Royal Alfred Hospital where he passed away. The driver of the car was not injured. Police are investigating the circumstances of the crash and will prepare a report for the coroner."

Fr Gerard McAleer, parish priest at Donaghmore in Co Tyrone, told the Belfast Telegraph: "The community are just very sad at this news.

"All the people that I have spoken to who knew Tiarnan have told me he was just a very nice young man. He was just starting out on life and having a taste of freedom and fun." It is understood that it may take up to 10 days for Tiarnan's body to be returned home.

"The fact that he is so far away and it will take so long to get the remains home will be a test of everyone's patience," added Fr McAleer.

"Everyone will be indebted to the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust who are tremendous in helping in such cases."

Tiarnan was the son of prominent Tyrone republican Sharon Jordan, who is a senior member of the republican party Soaradh.

Packy Carty, a spokesman for the group, expressed "heartfelt condolences" to Mr Rafferty's family.

Mid-Ulster independent councillor Barry Monteith knows the deceased man's parents.

"The entire community is in shock at this news and our deepest sympathy goes out to them at this time," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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