Australian police today charged a 28-year-old man with manslaughter over the violent killing of an Irish man.
Gearoid Walsh, 23, died in hospital after suffering severe head injuries in an assault at a takeaway in the Sydney suburb of Coogee on Sunday.
A man handed himself over to detectives just hours after Mr Walsh’s distraught mother Treasa pleaded with the attacker to come forward, saying she did not blame him over the tragic death.
Detectives from the Eastern Beaches region of the city charged the man with manslaughter, reckless wounding and assault causing actual bodily harm.
He was refused bail and is expected to appear via video link in a Sydney court tomorrow.
In an emotional public appeal Ms Walsh said the family were devastated by Gearoid’s death but she held no animosity towards the killer.
“I’d really like to say that as a mother, I really feel for this guy who got into a fight with Gearoid,” Ms Walsh said.
“I am heartbroken for him, because we don’t blame him. We don’t want him to serve time in prison. I think he was just very, very unlucky.
“Myself and my family are appealing for him to come forward and get closure on this and some peace. We don’t want him to torture himself over this. I don’t see this as a murder.”
Officers believe Mr Walsh had been out drinking at hotels in the area before getting involved in an argument with a man at a food shop.
Mr Walsh was punched and fell to the ground, hitting his head on the pavement.
Ms Walsh, who flew from Dublin to Sydney to be by her son’s bedside at the Prince of Wales Hospital, said he had been celebrating the birthday of his 22-year-old sister Aoife when the attack happened.
She and brother Ciaran, 27, were living in the country and Gearoid had been staying with them since he arrived five weeks ago.
Their mother said Mr Walsh, who had been working as a roofing insulator, was a quiet and introverted young man who did not get involved in fights.
She said the family was devastated by the tragic death.
“Three years ago I lost my husband, and now my family have lost an adored son, brother and uncle. Gearoid is like a father figure to my eldest granddaughter. She is seven and so distraught,” Ms Walsh said.
“I can’t describe how devastated myself and Gearoid’s brother and sisters and nieces are. But sadly our lives will never be the same without Gearoid.”
Mr Walsh had been living in Dublin before travelling to Australia on a working visa.
His organs were donated on his death, which his mother said had given meaning to the tragic incident.
Coogee, in eastern Sydney, is a popular destination for Irish and British tourists.
Last August Cork man David Keohane was left in a coma after being attacked while walking home from a party in the beachside suburb.