Police

Kilkenny dad dies in Pacific Highway accident

A Kilkenny father-of-one man has died following a road collision in New South Wales.

Seamus Walsh, 38, originally from Kilcready, Ballyhale, Co Kilkenny, died when his truck collided with another large vehicle on a highway in northern New South Wales at about midnight on Thursday night.

Mr Walsh moved to Australia in 2007 and ran his own haulage business.

Local police revealed that two trucks collided on the Pacific Highway, south of Nabiac, near Forster in northern New South Wales. The driver of the other truck has been admitted to hospital.

Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward, who knows the family, said: “It’s very sad news for a local family and everyone is very shocked on hearing (what has happened).

The scene of the fatal crash on Pacific Highway south of Nabiac NSW. Picture: Taffic and Highway Patrol Command.

The scene of the fatal crash on Pacific Highway south of Nabiac NSW. Picture: Taffic and Highway Patrol Command.

“I just spoke to Rena this morning and she is devastated. (Our thoughts) are with his family parents, Pat, Rena, Liam and Claire.”

Local police revealed that two trucks collided on the Pacific Highway, south of Nabiac, near Forster. The driver of the other truck was admitted to hospital..

NSW Police said that emergency services were called to the scene following reports that two B-doubles travelling northbound had collided.

It is understood that Mr Walsh died at the scene.

Officers from Manning-Great Lakes Police District established a crime scene and with the assistance of the Crash Investigation Unit, are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A report will be prepared for the information of the Coroner.

Missing Irish backpacker found safe and well

Declan Whales has been touring Australia. Photo: Instagram.

Declan Whales has been touring Australia. Photo: Instagram.

An online campaign to find a missing Irishman has proved successful after the backpacker was found safe and well on a Queensland station.

Friends of 30-year-old Declan Whales raised the alarm when they had not heard from him in over three weeks.

Whales, who last made contact while in Bundaberg on June 9, was discovered working on a cattle station 140 kilometres from the town of Bedourie in Central West Queensland.

The Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland’s Paddy Farrelly, who coordinated a public awareness campaign to find the missing man, said, “Police have laid eyes on him, he’s fit and safe and healthy.”

Farrelly said Whales had not informed friends that he would be uncontactable due to being out of signal range.

An online campaign by the IASAQ, which was informed of Whales’ disappearance by the Consulate General of Ireland in Sydney, was viewed by almost 300,000 people.

The initiative ultimately helped locate Whales, with a fellow backpacker calling in with information.

Declan Whales was discovered on a cattle station. Photo: Instagram.

Declan Whales was discovered on a cattle station. Photo: Instagram.

Farrelly said young Irish-Australians had been particularly engaged with the campaign, making every effort to help find the Irishman.

Whales’ new Australian friends had been desperate to know his whereabouts.

One Bundaberg woman wrote on Facebook: “absolutely heart broken. We used to work together. I pray to God that he is safe”.

Whales calls South East England home but has been in Australia for several months.

He visited Sydney, Byron Bay, Brisbane, Noosa and other pitstops before making his way to the cattle station to complete rural work to obtain a Working Holiday visa.


Sydney Irish actor on bail after alleged assault on police

Irish actor Kieren Noonan has been charged after an altercation with police on Saturday.

Irish actor Kieren Noonan has been charged after an altercation with police on Saturday.

An Irish actor, who has appeared in the hit Aussie soap Home and Away, has been charged with a string of offenses after a violent incident in Sydney’s Cargo Bar on Saturday night.

Cork native Keiren Noonan appeared before Parramatta Bail Court on Sunday via video link charged with assaulting police causing actual bodily harm, resisting arrest, offensive language and failing to quit licenced premises.

Noonan, 32, who appeared as Spike in five episodes of Home and Away, was granted bail.

NSW police say the Noonan became "intoxicated" and refused to leave the Darling Harbour bar.

It is alleged he got into a "physical altercation" with plain-clothes police who identified themselves to him as they asked him to leave.

Police said in a statement: "The officer immediately started bleeding from the nose, while other police arrested the man and conveyed him to Day Street Police Station."

Noonan - who travelled to Australia to work as an electrician before being spotted for a small role in the soap - said he was "really apologetic", according to the Daily Telegraph.

The 32-year-old actor said he will defend the charges.

The 32-year-old actor said he will defend the charges.

He told the court from his Surry Hills Police Centre holding cell: "Your honour can I give you my version of events. I would just like to say I’m really apologetic for what happened. I would never hit anybody especially not a female police officer."

His legal aid representative then stopped him, saying: "Mr Noonan if you could refrain from talking on the public record that’s in your best interest."

A NSW police spokesman said: "The officers, who were in plain clothes, identified themselves to the man who again failed to leave the venue.

"Police will allege that a physical altercation ensued when the man pushed one officer in the chest and punched another officer in the face."

The injured officer was conveyed to St Vincent’s Hospital where she was treated for a broken nose, swelling to the face and sore teeth.

Speaking to reporters outside the police station where he spent the night, Noonan said he would be defending the charge.

“I would never hit anybody, especially not a female and especially not a female officer,” he said.

A court date for his reappearance has yet to be set.