Northern Irish men killed in Australian workplace accident were ‘new arrivals’

Distraught workmen at the site in Perth where the two Northern Ireland men were killed
Distraught workmen at the site in Perth where the two Northern Ireland men were killed

The two Northern Irish men killed in Australia today when a concrete panel fell on them, were said to have only just arrived in the country.

Both in their 20s, the Omagh and Portstewart natives were said to be working for a company run by two brothers from Tyrone.

Speaking from Perth Australia, Tom Bradley from the Claddagh Association said he is working with the Bell Trust to try and repatriate the young men’s bodies for burial in their home counties.

He said: “I know the boys they are working for.

Speaking about the young men who were tragically killed, he said: “They are in their early twenties and they are not that long here.

“I think they were new arrivals - they work for lads from Tyrone as well... a couple of brothers.

“They were having a cigarette and there was a crane just lifting slabs and one fell,” he added.

“I am with the Claddagh Association which is a welfare group. We have offered the family assistance.”

This latest tragedy has brought the total number of cases on which the Irish welfare group has worked onto this month to nine.

As a mark of respect, Jaxon Construction, which is building the Perth apartments the men were working on, has ordered the closure of all its sites on Thursday.

The incident - reported to have happened on the corner of Goderich Street and Bennett Street in East Perth at about 11.30am, Australian time - is now being investigated by local authorities.

The two men are believed to have been in Australia on work visa, with one due home this Christmas.