A young Irish tradie who died suddenly from a medical episode at work is being remembered as a “loyal friend” as an urgent effort is under way to bring him home.
Alan Walsh, 26, was at work at a mining site in Western Australia when he suffered a sudden medical episode last month and was tragically unable to be revived.
The construction community rallied behind Mr Walsh’s family in the wake of the young man’s death, raising funds to help return him to his native Ireland.
The campaign’s organisers, Derek Hall and Any Lynch, said the young tradesman had been surrounded by the “best group of mates” and had been “living his best life”.
“(Mr Walsh) had the world at his feet, he was so well thought of by everyone who knew him. He just had one of those infectious positive attitudes,” they said.
“Alan’s family are experiencing an unimaginably difficult period while they wait for news on the repatriation of Alan from Perth, WA back home to Limerick, Ireland.
“We have had a lot of kind offers from individuals wanting to help … We have set up this fund to allow us to contribute to making the hard weeks ahead that wee bit easier.”
Mr Walsh’s sudden death triggered an outpouring of grief online from people both in Australia and in Limerick, a major city south of Galway in the country’s southeast.
“Heart-breaking to say the least … He was over in Australia living his best life and passed away suddenly,” Mr Walsh’s aunt, Sinead Walsh, wrote on Facebook.
The Geraldines AFC Limerick amateur football team said Mr Walsh’s death had come as a shock to all who knew him and offered condolences to his family.
“Alan ‘Buller’, as he was better known, played for the Dines for many years as a schoolboy and wore the candy stripes with pride,” the club wrote earlier this week.
“Alan, without question, was a manager’s dream. He never minded playing in goal or out field, in either position he excelled. He had a great love for all sport.
“On behalf of the officers, committee and all involved in the club I would like to extend the deepest sympathies to Alan’s family and friends. May Alan rest in peace.”
The St Patrick’s Gaa Limerick hurling club said Mr Walsh had been working closely with members of his local parish when he died and was a “much-loved” player.
“You would always feel much the better for meeting Alan, whether it be before the game, in the dressing room or for a chat,” the club wrote on Facebook.
“You could not meet a nicer, more outgoing person so full of life. He would always have you in good form and bring a smile, such was his humorous nature and goodwill.”
In just two days, the campaign had already raised more than $62,000 – well above the original target of just $5000 – with some people donating as much as $2000.
The organisers said they had been in contact with Mr Walsh’s mother and she wanted the funds to be to given to the Cladagh Association and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Fund.
“We will split the funds raised three ways, to help cover some of the family’s expenses and to the both charities,” the organisers said on Wednesday.
“We would like to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their ongoing help and support during this time, absolutely incredible organisations.”