Irish man dies after stabbing in Australia over Christmas

East Cork father-of-two Charlie McCarthy received stab wound to head in Perth attack

Tributes have been paid to a young Cork man who died in hospital in Australia following a stabbing incident while he was waiting to get a taxi home.

Father-of-two Charlie McCarthy (32) was walking with his wife Nicole and a friend on Riverside Road in East Freemantle, Perth, Western Australia when a row broke out with two anglers on the road in the early hours of December 23rd.

It is unclear what prompted the row but Mr McCarthy was stabbed in the head with what is believed to be a screwdriver and collapsed to the ground.

His wife raised the alarm and police called to the scene arrested a 34-year-old man from Freemantle for questioning.


Mr McCarthy was rushed to Royal Perth Hospital where his condition was assessed as critical and he was put on a life support machine in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Mr McCarthy's brother Daniel and other family members travelled from their home in Aghada in east Cork to Perth to be at his bedside before the life-support machine was switched off.

Parish priest in Aghda, Fr Denis Kelleher, spoke of the sense of sadness and shock in the East Cork town when news broke that Mr McCarthy had been seriously injured.

“It was Saturday morning here when the news broke that Charlie had been seriously injured and there was a real sense of shock and sadness, as they were not holding out any great hope for him.

“We prayed for him at Masses over the Christmas as family members went out there but then news broke in the last day or so that he had passed away so there’s a real sadness here today.

‘Terrible tragedy’

“He’s in our thoughts and prayers today because it’s a terrible tragedy at any time, but over Christmas and so far from home only adds to the pain and grief for his poor family,” he said.

One local described the late Mr McCarthy – who emigrated to Australia in the 2000s but then returned to Aghada with his Australian wife, only to return to Perth – as “quiet but very popular”.

“He was very committed to the local GAA club here in Aghada and would have been tweeting when they won the intermediate football and when the ladies’ football won this year as well.

“His parents Charlie and Margaret would be well-known and all his family would have been involved in the GAA, so he would be well-known and the news cast a shadow over Christmas here this year.”

Mr McCarthy is survived by his wife Nicole and children Ciara (5) and Niall (2) in Australia, as well as his parents Charlie and Margaret and siblings here in Cork.

The 34-year-old man arrested at the scene has been charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm, having appeared at Perth Magistrate’s Court on December 24th.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times