‘Gerard was one of the nicest people’

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Tributes have been paid to the local man who was tragically killed in a building site in Perth last week.

Gerard Bradley (29), who was well known in the Coleraine and Portstewart areas had been in the country since last February.

He was killed alongside his friend, Joe McDermott, from Omagh.

It is believed the men were trapped under a large concrete slab which came off a lorry as a crane attempted to remove other slabs.

The construction site in the Australian city was closed following the incident.

In a statement, the Bradley family said: “It is impossible to describe the hurt and loss we are all feeling now.

“Gerard was one of the happiest people you could ever meet.

“He was a wonderful son, grandson, brother and friend and whilst his death will leave a great void in all our lives, he will leave us with some wonderful memories.

Since the tragedy tributes have been paid to both Gerard and Joe from people who knew them from across the globe.

On Friday, The Claddagh Association in Western Australia revealed that they would be holding a special Mass to remember them.

The Association, who have been assisting Irish people in Western Australia for the past 18 years, revealed on their Facebook page that they would be holding the remembrance Mass this Friday, December 4, at 7pm at St Joseph’s Church.

Locally, collections were held over the weekend in Tesco Portstewart to raise money to help repatriate Gerry’s body.

Next week, the Harbour Bar in Portrush will be hosting an event ‘A Night For Gerry’ in association with the Claddagh charity.

MLA John Dallat who knew Gerard personally, described him as someone who was ‘loved and respected not only by his own generation but by everyone who came into contact with him.’

Mr Dallat went on: “He has many relatives and friends throughout the Coleraine area and our deepest sympathy goes to his parents and family who are in shock that such a popular young man and his colleague should lose their young lives, so far from home and in such a tragic way.

“I have no doubt that Irish people in Australia and here at home will rally to the families and give them the love and care they need to deal with this dreadful news so close to Christmas.

Footballing circles have also been paying tribute to Gerard, who was a keen footballer.

A minute’s silence was held before UUC game at the Warren on Saturday.

Dr Tom Stark, who is involved with both the UUC football team and the Coleraine and District League said: “Gerry, was a very jovial and friendly person who played for Portstewart Town and then us.

“He used work in the Top House in Portstewart and a popular young man at the club.

“It is a tragic loss and on behalf of UUC and the Coleraine and District League Management Committee I would extend deepest sympathy to the immediate family and wider family circle.”

Speaking to The Times on Monday, Gerard’s brother Jon-Paul thanked those who had supported the family.

He described his brother as a ‘very talented guy’.

“He was just good at everything, golf, football, you name it. I remember him playing for the senior team at St Malachy’s when he was in primary four that’s just how good he was. I think he still holds the school record for four Doherty Cup medals.

Gerard leaves behind two brothers, Jon Paul (31), Gregory (27) and a younger sister Aoife (17).