A 27-year-old Irishman who drowned in a billabong in the Northern Territory last weekend has been named as Tony Norney from Poleglass, Co Antrim.
Police are investigating the death of the man, whose body was recovered from the Malanbanjbanjdju Billabong in the Kakadu National Park on Saturday.
The BBC has reported that the community of Poleglass had taken the news of his death very badly.
Local parish priest Father Vincent Cushnahan said there was a profound sense of shock within the community and a “reaction of sympathy” for the family.
“There is a deep sense of anguish and pain that such a young life was tragically cut short.”
Police told the Irish Echo that he had swam out into the river for about 20 feet.
“He went down and didn’t resurface,” a police spokesman said.
He was with a group of about 20 backpackers who raised the alarm.
He is believed to have been the only one of the group to go swimming.
Police and National Park Rangers travelled to the scene and mounted a search for the man. Three hours later, National Park Rangers located the body in approximately two metres of water near where the man was last seen.
It appears the man got into difficulties and drowned however an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
The area is associated with crocodiles but police have said that there was no evidence that the man had been taken by one of the beasts.
The police also told the NT News that they did not believe alcohol was a factor.
Mr Norney had posted a message on a friend’s Bebo page back in December outlining his plans for 2010.
“Aye, here for the long hall (sic),” he wrote.
“Got the 2nd year sorted there. Ay the 2 of us are worken (sic) away still haven a laugh heading up the east coast here over crimbo should be good.”