Northern Ireland man dies in boating accident in Australia – BBC News


Image caption Niall Quinn was from Silverbridge, near Newry

A man from Northern Ireland has died in Australia after falling from a houseboat.

The accident happened on the Murray River, near the border between New South Wales and Victoria.

Niall Quinn was in his 20s and from Silverbridge, near Newry.

Police said Mr Quinn, who was staying on the boat with friends, had fallen from the top deck into the water. It is believed he may have hit his head as he fell.

His body was located in waters nearby by police divers. Ten privately owned vessels also assisted in the search.

Sinn Fin councillor Terry Hearty knows the Quinn family.

“They just cannot get their head round it, they cannot believe it,” he said.

“Niall was such a likeable, lively lad, always smiling, always going somewhere and everyone knew him.”

‘Devastated’

Mr Quinn was involved with the Silverbridge Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club.

The club said it was devastated to hear of his “untimely death”.

Image copyright Googlemaps
Image caption The accident happened on the Murray River, near the border between New South Wales and Victoria

Former Armagh GAA captain Jarlath Burns is the secretary of the club.

He told BBC News NI he had played on the same team as Mr Quinn and described him as a “great lad”.

“I was going towards the end of my career and Niall was just beginning his,” he said.

“We played in the reserve side at Silverbridge together and won a championship together. He later went on to play for the senior team.

“He was a very skilful player.

“Niall was a lad who lived life to the full, he was a hard-working fella, a great lad with an unassuming way.

“We lost something from the club when he left.”

‘Loved’

Mr Burns said that Mr Quinn’s death was a further tragedy for his mother Deirdre, whose brother Michael was killed in a terrorist attack on Donnelly’s Bar in Silverbridge in December 1975.

“Niall’s mother’s family owned Donnelly’s Bar in Silverbridge and her brother Michael was killed in the attack on the bar by the Glennane Gang in December 1975,” he said.

“The family circle is highly respected and loved so much by the people of Silverbridge.

“There is a Michael Donnelly Cup at Silverbridge GAA Club every year in tribute and the family come to present it.”

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to Mr Quinn’s family.

Sinn Fin councillor Barra O’Muiri said he understood The Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust was working with the Quinn family and people in Australia to bring “Niall home as soon as possible”.

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

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