An international rules game in Darwin next month will honour an Irishman who was killed in an explosion in Darwin in December.
The Paddy Bird Cup will see Ireland take on Australia in an International Rules game in the Gardens Oval on Sunday, August 5 from 2pm-6pm.
The Cup will commemorate the life of the 24-year-old from Bailieborough, Co Cavan.
The young Irishman had been living in Darwin for a few months, before he was killed in a gas explosion outside his house in Parap on December 16, 2011.
The game will be a tribute to Mr Bird, an excellent GAA player who played for his local Bailieborough Shamrocks before he went to Darwin.
Christina O’Donnell and her partner Dwane Halton are organising the event to honour the wishes of Mr Bird’s father.
“Dwane went home and met up with Paddy’s father. He asked Dwayne to organise some football games in Australia.
“Paddy was a great footballer at home. His father thought is would be great to have an event to celebrate Paddy’s life in Australia. The game would be a tribute to Paddy, and it would be a great opportunity to bring the Irish community together.”
Christina said that they had expected to get a few players together for a game but that the event has escalated quickly.
A friend of Mr Bird’s, Peter Knight, is involved with the Banks Bulldogs and arranged for the Australian team to participate in the game.
“It’s absolutely brilliant that the team are involved,” Christina told the Irish Echo. “Paddy said he would one day play for the Banks Bulldogs but he never had a chance.”
Christina said that Paddy was quite a popular character and she expects that the game will draw quite a big crowd. “He was a very big personality- great fun. He was a really good person to be around. “We just want to make sure he is not forgotten about.
“His friends are coming in from Sydney and all over Australia to attend the event. We will try to make this an annual event, and maybe donate the proceeds to an Australian charity, to recognise the support Australians have shown us.”
Donations can be given upon entry to the game, with the proceeds going to the Bird family in Cavan. Christina remarked that the event is not being held to raise money, but funds will be donated to the family as a gesture from the Irish Australian community.