Online tributes for Irishman


The Facebook page of Michael Dwyer was still active today amid confirmation that the 24-year-old was one of those killed in a Bolivian shoot-out on Thursday.

Mr Dwyer was one of three people killed in a hotel room gun battle in the city of Santa Cruz in mysterious circumstances. He stands accused by Bolivian authorities of having been part of a gang plotting to kill Bolivian president Evo Morales while his family in Tipperary said they were "shocked and devastated by the tragic death of a beloved son and brother".

Bolivian police said his passport was found after the shooting among his personal belongings.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has sent an official from Argentina to Bolivia in an effort to officially confirm Mr Dwyer's death.

One of Mr Dwyer's 324 friends on his Facebook account is Eduardo Rozsa Flores (49), one of the other men killed during the incident. Mr Flores is a Bolivian-Hungarian who fought in separatist movements in the former Yugoslavia. According to reports Mr Flores commanded a brigade in the Balkans after arriving there as a war correspondent in 1991. Magyarosi Arpak, a Romanian sniper, was also reported killed in the Santa Cruz incident.

Mario Francisco Tadik Astorga (58), reported to be a Bolivian-Croatian who also fought in the Balkans, and Elot Toazo, a Hungarian computer expert, were arrested and taken away for questioning.

Mr Dwyer's hometown is listed on the social networking site as Galway, where he took a course in construction studies at the GMIT. He finished studying six months ago. He is originally from Ballinderry, near Borrisokane, Co Tipperary where his family still lives. A family member last night confirmed that he had died in unexplained circumstances in Bolivia.

His Facebook page says his date of birth is June 15th, 1984, he is in a relationship and that his interests are shooting, music and cars. Pictures taken from his Bebo site show him dressed in military fatigues during combat adventure sports but pictures uploaded to his Facebook site in the last number of weeks are listed as holiday photographs taken in Bolivia and others taken at locations in Ireland.

He describes himself as a big music fan and says his favourite television show is The Unit, an American drama based on a top-secret counter-terrorism military unit. His favourite quote is “Don’t get involved in something that you cant walk out on in 30 seconds flat” from the film Heat, and "Just do what ya can today. Tomorrow is another day.”

As news broke of the Bolivian incident yesterday one simple message on his Bebo site read: “RIP Bro” before the page was changed to private. However, messages began appearing on his Facebook page today, with one reading: “Mick I can't believe it's true and you've been taken from us.

“My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Rest in peace my friend. I'll always remember the great times we had in Galway and will miss you. Xxxx”

Another said: “I love you cousin.. may you rest in peace. We all love you dearly… save me a place on the other side”.

An official from the Irish embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina arrived in Bolivia at midnight Irish time last night. A Department spokeswoman said this morning the situation was “quite complex” and it would be later today before any further details of the Santa Cruz killing emerged.

Mr Dwyer’s Facebook activity gave no clue as to why he may have been associated with the incident. A status update on April 9th last said he was “playing Motorcycle Madness and just achieved Level 6, Tricycle III”.