Irish Community News

Pregnant Irish teenager vanishes in Sydney

Katie Cash was last seen on Friday, July 13 in Sydney.

Katie Cash was last seen on Friday, July 13 in Sydney.

Concern is growing for missing Sydney Irish teenager Katie Cash.

NSW Police are appealing for public assistance to help locate Ms Cash who was last seen leaving a hospital on Barker St, Randwick, just before 3pm on Friday July 13.

At the time she was last seen, Katie was 38-weeks pregnant and officers attached to Eastern Beaches Police Area Command hold grave concerns for her welfare.

Ms Cash may also go by another name.

Katie is described as being of Caucasian appearance, of thin build, with short dark hair, green/hazel eyes and a scar on the right side of her forehead. She was last seen wearing a grey top, grey and white floral pants and no shoes.

Anyone with information or knows Kate’s whereabouts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000.

Singing Oisín's papal performance with esteemed choir

Members of the St Mary's Cathedral Choir. Oisín O'Sullivan is second from right. Picture: Catholic Weekly

Members of the St Mary's Cathedral Choir. Oisín O'Sullivan is second from right. Picture: Catholic Weekly

IF there’s a sure-fire way to impress your Irish granny, it’s to sing for the Pope.

Oisín O’Sullivan’s Killarney grandma has been bursting with pride since he sang for Pope Francis with his fellow choristers from Australia’s oldest choir on Pentecost Sunday.

The 12-year-old has been a member of Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral Choir for four years and said the performance in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome was “the biggest thing we’ve ever done”.

“It was really exciting,” he said.

“I was trying to focus on the music, but in the background I was thinking about how cool it was.”

Oisín said the Pontiff, who was standing only 10m away, was humble.

“I thought he’d be sort of like royalty but he seemed really down to earth.”

The Papal Mass was the highlight of three-weeks of performances in France, Brussels and Italy to celebrate 200 years since the choir was founded by Dubliner Catherine Fitzpatrick.

In total, 32 young scholarship students from St Mary’s Cathedral College and 11 adult singers performed.

Oisín and his dad, Pádraig O'Sullivan on the tour.

Oisín and his dad, Pádraig O'Sullivan on the tour.

The performance was broadcast to millions around the world.

Oisín’s father Pádraig O’Sullivan is from Killarney and has been in Sydney for 23 years.

He said both the Australian and Irish sides of the family were thrilled by the youngster’s accomplishments – especially his grandmother Breda O’Sullivan in Muckross.

Mr O’Sullivan said all the choirboys had worked extremely hard to earn the amazing trip. 

In an average week, the singers  rehearse and perform for 10-plus hours, before and after school and on Sundays.

Extra rehearsals will also take place in preparation for a special anniversary Mass in August that will be attended by descendents of the choir’s Irish founder. 

Mrs Fitzpatrick was a school teacher who voluntarily came to Australia after her husband Bernard was sentenced to transportation for embezzlement.

She trained a small group of singers, including her own sons, to sing for the first Catholic services in the colony.

As Sydney grew, they became the choir of the first St Mary’s church and eventually the St Mary’s Cathedral Choir. Mrs Fitzpatrick was the choir director for many years.

Melbourne resident Neill Fitzpatrick discovered he was the great-great-great grandson of Catherine Fitzpatrick when he was researching his family tree last year and was impressed by his talented ancestor.

“She was a woman well in advance of her time because she was highly educated and a school teacher,” he said.

“She was either very naïve or very courageous to come out in 1811 as a free settler with two young sons, the youngest of which was less than one year old.

”From what I’ve read of her sons’ letters they were very, very proud of her. She was the anchor that kept the family together.”

Mr Fitzpatrick joked that singing is one family talent hasn’t been passed down the generations.

“I can’t sing at all,” he said with a laugh.

Building a forum for Irish know-how

Michael Cahalane is one of the driving forces behind the newly-formed Club Hibernia.

Michael Cahalane is one of the driving forces behind the newly-formed Club Hibernia.

A GROUP of Irish Australians are banding together to launch a new networking organisation for construction industry professionals in New South Wales.

Called Club Hibernia, launched this week, will meet quarterly in Sydney for ‘networking, knowledge-sharing and social events’. 

Michael Cahalane, a civil engineer from Cork, was one of the people who came up with the idea.

”We had a conversation over a few pints that there was no real forum or networking association for Irish professionals in the construction industry,” he said.

”There’s such a large population of us working in the industry now. We decided there might be some value out of it.”

Some of the people who've been signing up include contractors, architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and project managers.  While Irish people are in the majority, you don't have to be Irish to join..

“It’s been formed by Irish people and there is a very Irish tint to it, but there are already plenty of people who work with us who aren’t Irish who are coming along," Mr Cahalane said.

He said the construction industry was currently “very bullish in NSW”.

 “There is a massive infrastructure boom - projects like NorthConnex, WestConnex, the Sydney Metro, Sydney light rail….. and then you have all the commercial projects around Barangaroo and around Central Station. Residential is still quite strong too, so it is a really good industry to be in at the moment.”

He said many Irish construction staff who’d come here during the recession are now in senior positions.

He himself has been in Australia for 12 years and is a director at Warren Smith and Partners – a consulting engineering firm employing about 60 people.

Along with Mr Cahalane, the  other Club Hibernia committee members are: Jimmy Larkin (MBM); Pat Cronin (BDM Constructions); Cathy Hughes (Enterprise Ireland); Mick O’Driscoll (DCWC); Brian O’Mainin (Johnstaff); Francis Houlihan (Lend Lease); Elvire Callaghan (MSJ Architects); Ken O’Neill (Aurecon).

While their aim is to keep the quarterly events informal, they may have guest speakers in the future.

“At worst it will be a few pints and a bit of craic,” Mr Cahalane said.

“But hopefully people can get a bit of value out of it by making new contacts and doing some new business - or finding a new career path.”

To find out more, email Michael at michael@warrensmith.com.au

 

Canberra Irish Club facing funding crisis

Canberra Irish Club is struggling to pay its debts.

Canberra Irish Club is struggling to pay its debts.

THE much-loved Canberra Irish Club has become the latest Irish organisation to face a battle for survival.

The club, which was formed in 1975 and moved to its current home in Weston in 1982, has launched a crowd-funding campaign in an effort to raise $320,000 to try to cover immediate debt.

Club president Mary Collier said changing nature of the club industry and falling patron numbers had led to the financial problems.  In the past, the club had borrowed money to keep operating, but had still not been profitable.

“We have … accumulated debt over many years,” she said. “In the environment today, people just don’t go to clubs like they used to. I think a lot of ethnically based clubs have found that.”

The club management is working on the two-fold challenge of paying off the debt to avoid insolvency and coming up with a new business plan to make the club profitable again. A Gofundme campaign was launched last month and so far more than $1400 has been donated. They are also forming a committee of volunteers to organise other fundraising activities throughout this year.

The most recent financial report for the 2016/17 financial year shows the need for urgent action. The club made a loss of more than $107,000 – the sixth year in a row it had recorded a loss.

In their report, the independent auditors noted that the “company’s liabilities
exceeded its current assets by $336,091”. The club also received a tax bill for more than $169,000 in January 2018.

Debts are now understood to stand at more than $660,000.

One of the rescue options is amalgamating with another, larger club.  

While it is being considered, Mrs Collier said it would have to meet certain criteria, such as retaining the Canberra Irish Club name, and continuing their support of local community groups.

She said the club was a meeting place for more than 30 groups, both Irish and otherwise.  It also runs Irish language, dance and music classes.

As for the future – if the debt gets paid off – the plan is to reinvent the Canberra Irish Club as an entertainment venue.

“We think the way to go is to try and make the club an entertainment venue rather than a traditional pub environment that has just has a bar and bistro and poker machines,” she said. “We have a great little entertainment area which holds around 100 to 130 people … We need to hold more regular Irish based and other entertainment. We are keen to become established as a great venue for live bands as well as functions.”

Mrs Collier, who took over as president last November, said the Canberra Irish Club had a “big heart” and around 5000 members.

“We’re not the flashiest or the most modern venue in town, but we’ve always had that special something money just can’t buy,” she said.

She hopes they can “find our way out by the end of the year”.

“I do believe we can save it … but we know we have a bit of a mountain to climb,” she told the Irish Echo.

A number of Irish clubs across Australia have struggled to trade profitably in recent years.  The Irish Club of Western Australia has been hit by the downgrading of nearby Subiaco Oval. Melbourne’s Celtic Club decided to sell its premises after facing trading headwinds while the Queensland Irish Club was forced to close. 

To make a donation go to www.gofundme.com/help-canberra-irish-club

Melbourne Rose of Tralee entrants 2018

Melbourne's Rose of Tralee selection ball takes place this weekend at the Regent Theatre with events for Queensland, South Australia and Perth following in quick succession. Here are the Melbourne hopefuls for this year.  Best of luck to all the entrants.

Excluded voters keen to be heard

Supporting a ‘yes’ vote: Christine Howell, Shauna Stanley, Gary Hansell, organiser Lizzie O'Shea, Pam Lowe, Jimmy Yan and Grace Carroll at Melbourne’s Drunken Poet.

Supporting a ‘yes’ vote: Christine Howell, Shauna Stanley, Gary Hansell, organiser Lizzie O'Shea, Pam Lowe, Jimmy Yan and Grace Carroll at Melbourne’s Drunken Poet.

Almost all Irish citizens living in Australia are not allowed to vote in the referendum on abortion. Irish diplomatic staff can but that's about it.

The vote, on May 25, will ask people to consider repealling the 8th amendment, which prohibits abortion in almost all circumstances.

But a series of events have been held in Sydney and Melbourne advocating for a ‘yes’ vote. 

Diaspora Downunder Dollars for Choice (#ddd4c) is a campaign aiming for 30 events around Australia to fundraise for Together for Yes.

Convenor of the Irish Pro Choice group Shauna Stanley said it was frustrating that expats “cannot get our voices heard at the ballot box” but “we can contribute some of our hard-earned Australian dollars to give the Together for Yes campaign every chance for success”.

DDD4C has received pledges from all around Australia, including themed parties, events and a pub quiz at Melbourne’s Drunken Poet pub.

“We have had an amazing response, with lots of creative ideas from supporters all over the country. It’s been hugely inspiring to see this kind of grassroots organising. 

“Irish people always love good craic, but have shown themselves to be extra keen to get on board for this cause,” Stanley said.  

Louise Nealon, Ann Marie Crotty and Loretta Cosgrove at the Sydney fundraiser for the Yes campaign at 34Bia in Redfern, Sydney.

Louise Nealon, Ann Marie Crotty and Loretta Cosgrove at the Sydney fundraiser for the Yes campaign at 34Bia in Redfern, Sydney.

“This has a movement led by women organising to demand their rights, against a well-funded anti-choice lobby. We may be 20,000 kilometres away, but we can feel the international reach of the sisterhood,” said Stanley.

Fellow campaigner Elaine Arnold said “We wanted to [find] a way of collectively contributing towards positive progression in Ireland.”

Supporters of a ‘yes’ vote also gathered at the Irish-owned 34 Bia restaurant last weekend for a fundraiser. Organised by Louise Nealon and Ann Marie Crotty, tickets included a full Irish breakfast and a donation to the Together for Yes campaign in Ireland.  Ticket sales and raffle raised more than $2000.

Sydney Rose of Tralee entrants 2018

The 2018 Rose of Tralee campaign is in full bloom.  Over coming weeks, we will introduce you to entrants from all five Australian centres. Sydney will be the first to choose its representative on Saturday 5 May with Melbourne, Queensland, South Australia and Perth following in quick succession. Here are the Sydney hopefuls for this year. Hover over each image to find their bios. Good luck to all the entrants.

Through Irish eyes: many cinema treats at Irish Film Festival

The Lodgers - a horror story set in 1920s Ireland is part of this year's Irish Film Festival.

The Lodgers - a horror story set in 1920s Ireland is part of this year's Irish Film Festival.

FOUR films that shine a spotlight on the Troubles will be screened in Sydney and Melbourne this month as part of the Irish Film Festival.

The diverse festival programme also includes a Pat Shortt comedy, a documentary about returning emigrants and a Gothic horror. Festival director Enda Murray said it was a pretty strong line-up with the best of contemporary Irish cinema.

“I’m delighted with the festival programme this year,” he said. “The Northern Ireland focus seemed appropriate as this year marks the 20th anniversar y of the Good Friday Agreement and there were a number of great new films about the north of Ireland.”

Dr Murray said one of the festival highlights is No Stone Unturned by Oscar-winning American filmmaker Alex Gibney.

The documentary examines the murder in 1994 of six Catholics in a pub in Loughinisland, Co Down. The men were shot while they watched Ireland play Italy in the World Cup. No charges have ever been laid.

“It’s a remarkable film … a film that will change things,” Dr Murray said. The film’s producer, Trevor Birney, will attend the screenings in Sydney and Melbourne.

Dr Murray said there has also been incredible interest in the opening night film, Maze, about the 1983 mass breakout from the Maze prison, which was also known as Long Kesh. It stars Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, (Nidge) of Love/Hate fame.

A documentary about the former SDLP leader John Hume and a quirky fictional film based on the relationship between the DUP’s Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness complete the Northern Ireland focus.

One film that is certain to resonate with expats is Coming Home, a documentary that follows five Irish emigrants around the world who decide to move back to Ireland, including a woman from Sydney.

The Maze will be screening on opening night at the festival. Based on the true story of the 1983 mass break-out of 38 IRA prisoners from HMP Maze high-security prison in Northern Ireland. 

The Maze will be screening on opening night at the festival. Based on the true story of the 1983 mass break-out of 38 IRA prisoners from HMP Maze high-security prison in Northern Ireland. 

For fans of comedy Dr Murray recommends the Pat Shortt film, The Flag. Shortt’s character discovers his grandfather had raised the Tricolour above the GPO in 1916 but it is now in the officers’ mess in a British Army barracks in London. He embarks on a mission to retrieve it.

“He’s a very funny guy. He can give a look and it will just reduce you to tears,” Dr Murray said. Also on the programme is the Irish entry in the Foreign Language category of the Oscars, Song of Granite, about the life of Connemara sean-nós singer Joe Heaney. And for fans of the supernatural, there’s The Lodgers, a chilling Gothic horror set in an Anglo-Irish home in the 1920s.

In a festival first, this year’s programme also includes a short film competition for young filmmakers from Ireland and Australia. “We are really happy to start cultivating an Irish-Australian platform for creative young people,” Dr Murray said. The Irish Film Festival is showing in Penrith and Sydney from 18-22 April and in Melbourne from 26-28 April.

For the full programme and tickets go irishfilmfestival.com.au

Celtic Club Melbourne open for St Patrick's Day

The Celtic Club Melbourne's new premises for the next three to four years in Courtney St, North Melbourne

The Celtic Club Melbourne's new premises for the next three to four years in Courtney St, North Melbourne

THE Celtic Club Melbourne has launched its new licensed premises in time for St Patrick’s Day. There is a full day of music and entertainment planned for March 17, culminating in the screening of the Ireland v England rugby match.

The club’s new home, named Celtic at Metropolitan, had a special gala launch attended by the Irish Ambassador Breandán Ó Caollaí on February 15. The club expects to be in its new home for three years while its former premises at Queen Street is refurbished and the club can return there.

The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charles Flanagan, visited the new club as part of his pre-St Patrick’s visit to Melbourne. While in the city, the minister attended an Enterprise Ireland lunch and visited memorials to Irish sporting heroes Jim Stynes of the AFL and Ron Delany, who won gold in the 1500 metres at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. “With the new club, Celtic at Metropolitan, we’re able to focus on the cultural aspects,” Celtic Club Melbourne committee member James Dunne told The Irish Echo. “For the launch, we had a four-day event. We had a lot of cultural activities: we had two days of Bloomsday [and] lots of Irish music.

The 130-year-old Celtic Club Melbourne is the oldest Irish club in Australia. Located at 36-42 Courtney Street, North Melbourne, the club’s new home is part of the old Meat Market, an iconic Melbourne venue and hub for creative arts and cultural activities. It is also very close to the city and accessible by tram.

Last October The Irish Echo reported that The Celtic Club had sold its premises at 320 Queen Street. However the Celtic Club has exercised its option to buy back into Queen Street so it can return to the fully refurbished building in three to four years’ time.

The sale marked the end of another chapter in the club’s 130-year history but it put the club’s finances into the black, with more than $22 million retained after the payment of longstanding debts and taxes.

“We were there for over 50 years,” Mr Dunne said. “Luckily enough, with a lot of foresight a few years ago we negotiated air rights for 44 floors above the building and so, as a result of that, we were able to sell it for $25.5 million and that cleared the club’s debt.

“A lot of clubs, not just ethnic clubs but also RSLs and other types of clubs, find that when memberships have aged a lot of them have gone under and luckily enough, because of the foresight of some of the previous presidents, we’re able to sell the air rights and also negotiate our way back in.”

The club moved its administration and cultural activities to 420-424 William Street. Queen Street is being renovated into a prestigious, high-rise complex that will incorporate a vertical forest providing some nature in the heart of the city. The club is guaranteed 2,460 square metres and may look to lease some of this space to generate income.

The annual Melbourne Irish Festival takes place on Sunday 18 March from noon in Edinburgh Gardens. Open to all, the family fun day celebrates Irish culture and heritage and creates an opportunity to come together as a community, to reflect the true nature of a diverse and modern Irish community and its contribution to the fabric of Australian society. The family fun day will feature entertainment such as U2 tribute act Achtung Baby, a session tent for featuring more intimate acts, Irish dancing and kids activities such as fun races, GAA and Irish language events. There will be a history tent where people can ask about their ancestry or find out more about the influence of the Irish in Australia.

You can enjoy food, drink and music at Jimmy O’Neill’s, St Kilda for its St Patrick’s Weekend making it a great focus for Irish culture and history. There is entertainment all weekend and Irish dancing on Paddy’s Day.

O'Donovan brothers for Sydney

odonovanbrothers.jpg

Champion rowers Gary O'Donovan (right) and Paul O'Donovan (left) celebrate winning silver in the Lightweight Men's Double Sculls Final at the Rio Olympic Games. Picture: MIke Egerton

IRELAND’S popular Olympic medallists of two years ago Gary and Paul O’Donovan are coming to Australia.

The brothers are taking part in the Sydney International Rowing Regatta, an event that attracts elite athletes from around the world.

They will be joined by Mark O’Donovan (no relation) and Shane O’Driscoll, who are world champions. Gary and Paul O’Donovan, from Lisheen near Skibbereen in West Cork, took silver behind France in the lightweight double sculls, winning Ireland’s first rowing medal at the Olympics.

Along with Annalise Murphy’s silver in sailing, these were Ireland’s only medals of the Rio games. However, Gary and Paul came to prominence for their hilarious interviews as much as their athletic success, with people all over the globe warming to their personalities, broad accents and quirky humour.

Talking in Rio, they discussed their steak diet, the awkwardness of doping tests and missing out on the party for their triumph back home. The brothers have even been invited onto Graham Norton’s celebrity chat show with their motto “pull like a dog” finding its way into the vernacular.

Last year, the brothers won silver in men’s lightweight double sculls at the European Rowing Championships. They also won silver at the second World Rowing Cup regatta of the season in Poland in June and bronze at the third in July.

In September 2017, at the World Rowing Championships in Florida, Paul O’Donovan won gold at the lightweight men’s single sculls.

Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, also from Skibbereen, took gold in both the 2017 European and World Championships in lightweight coxless pairs.

The Irish quartet have been preparing in New Zealand where they have been competing in the national rowing championships at Lake Karapiro where Paul O’Donovan took bronze in the single sculls and the foursome also took bronze in the Premier Four.

The Sydney International Rowing Regatta takes place at Penrith in the western suburbs of Sydney from March 19 to 25. To find out more, click here.

Sydney Mardi Gras' proudest Irish woman

Sydney Queer Irish co-founder Loretta Cosgrove with Panti Bliss at the 2017 Mardi Gras.

Sydney Queer Irish co-founder Loretta Cosgrove with Panti Bliss at the 2017 Mardi Gras.

This Saturday, I will join 80 strong Sydney Queer Irish (SQI) community members to proudly march (more accurately dance!) up Oxford St in Sydney’s 40th Mardi Gras parade.

It's 40 years since the first march in 1978 was met with unexpected police violence.

This Mardi Gras parade is extra special as it aims to celebrate the community’s struggles and triumphs and the evolution of Mardi Gras.

SQI, too, remembers our own LGBT journey at home over the past 40 years. I am the president and founding member of SQI, an organisation emerging from late night conversations in my kitchen with a group of friends who wanted to create a social support network for Irish ex-pats and those with Irish ancestry who also identify as LGBT, queer or just left of centre.

I am of Irish-born parents, a proud Mayo man and equally proud Galway woman. I lived in Clonbur, Co Galway until I was six. We emigrated to Australia in the 80s.

Since then I have spent years back and forth living in both Ireland and Australia and feel patriotic to both my home countries. Ireland will always be ‘home’ for me and I have a huge community in Co. Galway. Settled in Sydney (for now!), I feel very proud to be an Irish gay woman and love to connect with the Irish community.

As a result, in a suburb in Sydney’s Inner West, SQI was formed in 2010! SQI has been a saving grace for me and many ex-pats from Ireland who have joined us over the years. Whether your stay in Australia is long, short, permanent or fleeting, SQI offers a home away from home for the Irish LGBT community.

We are also very proud of the connection we have made with other Irish community groups in Sydney and the support of The Consulate General of Ireland, whose ongoing assistance is invaluable.

The 2016 SQI Mardi Gras entry.

The 2016 SQI Mardi Gras entry.

By far, SQI’s biggest event of the year is our celebrated Mardi Gras entry.

To achieve an award-winning float takes months of planning and preparation. In the days leading up to the parade, members are making last minute touches to costumes and props, doing final choreography rehearsals, as well as holding down day jobs!

Every year we are oversubscribed with eager float applicants, and we are joined by people flying from Ireland and interstate. This year’s Mardi Gras theme is ‘Evolution’, and our entry celebrates Ireland's road to equality over the past four decades.

Our small island has embraced love, equality, modernity and LGBT rights, while still celebrating our rich history, tradition and culture.

In remembering our much loved Dolores O’ Riordan, The Cranberries’ track Dreams helps us celebrate our Irish pride and brings together a choreographed group with a mix of traditional and modern dance.

Our costumes and props will showcase the Irish tri-colours of green, white and orange, with each section representing a decade over the past 40 years.

The green marchers, with their shoulder-pads ready for battle, represent the first LGBT protests in the 1970s and the foundation of the Irish gay rights movement.

Our winged white marchers pay tribute to those impacted by HIV/AIDS in our community in the 1980s and beyond, and the various Irish gay organisations who formed Gay Health Action (GHA) in response to the crisis.

The gold/orange section, in their flower covered broken chains, represents the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the 1990s.

Sounds like a lot of work? It is! It’s also a huge amount of fun with the Irish community and friends.

It’s about this time of year, a few days before the parade and planning in full-swing, that I say, “never again!”. Predictably, by Saturday night when it all comes together, cheered on by a roaring crowd, I’ll already be thinking how to grow Sydney Queer Irish and planning for next year’s Mardi Gras! 

Limerick link to missing man as mystery continues

Paddy Moriarty pictured by Kylie Stevenson. ABC News

Paddy Moriarty pictured by Kylie Stevenson. ABC News

As the mystery continues regarding a 70-year-old Irishman missing in the outback, a family member has come forward with some new information on Paddy Moriarty's background.

Moriarty, 70, disappeared from a hotel in the small village of Larrimah, Northern Territory on December 16 last year. He has not been seen or heard of since.

Larrimah is a small community of 13 people about six hours south of Darwin.

Police are treating his disappearance as a suspicious missing persons case, and some people in the local area believe he has been murdered.

His dog ‘Kellie’, a 12-month-old red Kelpie, is also missing.

Police had previously been unable to trace any family of the missing man in Australia or Ireland, where he was born.

But after Mr Moriarty’s disappearance was featured by Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1, a group of people claiming to be his relatives have now come forward.

Among them is Mae Screeney, who believes she is the cousin of the Irishman’s mother, Mary Theresa.

Mary, who was from Abbeyfeale in Co. Limerick, passed away in 1995 and there is no father listed on Mr Moriarty’s birth certificate.

Speaking to ABC News, Ms Screeney said Moriarty may have been adopted after being born out of wedlock.

"Mary obviously called him Patrick Joseph because that was the family name," she said.

Mr Moriarty came to Australia in 1966 as a teenager on the Fairstar ship from Britain, and then worked as a stockman on the territory stations.

"Nobody knows of this child, so what happened to Patrick Moriarty? He wasn't bought up around Abbeyfeale.

"None of our family know anything about him."

Northern Territory police have requested DNA samples from the group to establish whether they are truly blood relatives.

Officers have questioned all 13 of Larrimah’s residents, including some who were known to have a long-running feud with the missing Irishman.

Detectives have also spoken to hundreds of others after the case garnered international media attention, including in Ireland and the UK.

Police have been working with An Garda Síochána in an attempt to solve the mystery of Mr Moriarty’s “suspicious” disappearance.

Tyrone man, 22, dies after Sydney motorbike accident

Tiarnan Rafferty, 22, died following a motorcycle accident in Sydney.

Tiarnan Rafferty, 22, died following a motorcycle accident in Sydney.

A motorcyclist from Co Tyrone has died in hospital following a crash at Marrickville, in Sydney's Inner West, on Sunday.

Emergency services were called to the intersection of Sydenham Rd and Malakoff St just before 2pm, after reports of a crash between a motorcycle and a car.

The rider, 22-year-old Tiarnan Rafferty from Galbally, was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics and taken to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in a critical condition, where he died.

His devastated mother is prominent Tyrone republican Sharon Jordan, according to The Irish News. His grieving father Damien Rafferty is also well known in the east Tyrone area.

A spokeswoman for New South Wales Police said the driver of the car was not injured and that "she was taken to hospital for mandatory blood and urine testing."

Mr Rafferty, a former pupil at St Ciaran's College in Ballygawley, worked in the construction industry after moving to Australia in recent years.

It is understood he returned home at Christmas for a five-week holiday before returning to Australia.

Donaghmore parish priest Fr Gerard McAleer told the Irish News the local community has been left stunned by Mr Rafferty's death.

“I heard he was a lovely young fellow and this has come as a great shock to everyone in the community,” he said.

Colin Bell from the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust said the charity is helping to return Mr Rafferty's remains to his family but cautioned it may take several days.

“From Australia it could be anything up to ten days,” he said.

“We will try to bring him home as soon as possible.”