Fundraising effort to bring body of assault victim home from Australia

Tom Keaney in Australia for less than year

Tom Keaney (23), a barman from Murvey, near Ballyconneely, died after being assaulted in Perth, Australia

Tom Keaney (23), a barman from Murvey, near Ballyconneely, died after being assaulted in Perth, Australia

Tue, Dec 31, 2013, 01:43

Fundraising efforts are now under way in Australia and in Connemara to help grieving parents bring their son home for burial.

Tom Keaney (23), a barman from Murvey, near Ballyconneely, died at the Royal Perth Hospital on Monday from severe head injuries after being assaulted in Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia, on December 17th.

Mr Keaney had been in Australia for less than a year.

He was standing outside a kebab shop in Northbridge after midnight when a row broke out and he received a single blow to the head. He fell and struck his head off the pavement.

An ambulance brought him to Royal Perth Hospital where he received emergency medical attention.

He appeared to improve initially, but his parents, Tommy and Ann Keaney, were alerted on Christmas Eve to travel without delay. They flew out to Perth early on St Stephen’s Day. Mr Keaney was on life support and he died early on Monday.

Community support
Friends of the Keaney family organised a fundraiser on Monday night at Keogh’s Bar in Ballyconneely and the local community supported it in big numbers to help the family defray the cost of repatriating Mr Keaney’s body.

Meanwhile, members of the Irish community in Perth have also been rallying around to support the Keaney family.

Reporter Jonathan Morrell of Seven News said: “There is an Irish support organisation, the Claddagh, which has launched an appeal here, as well as the fundraising efforts that are happening back in Co Galway. ”

A local man, Abbas Al Jarood (22), appeared in the Perth Magistrates Court on a charge of causing grievous bodily harm. He was remanded in custody and police in Perth are now expecting the charge to be upgraded.

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