A 28-year-old man has been granted bail on charges relating to the death of Irish backpacker Gearoid Walsh.

Tobias Liam Simmons heard a magistrate describe the case, heard in a court in Parramatta, west of Sydney, as tragic and emotional.

Simmons, a project administrator from the Sydney suburb of Clovelly, has been charged with manslaughter, reckless wounding and assault causing actual bodily harm. He will appear before a court again on November 18.

Mr Walsh, a 23-year-old flooring contractor, had been in Australia for five weeks when he went out in the Sydney seaside suburb of Coogee with his sister and brother. The altercation with a man outside at a late-night takeaway shop resulted in Mr Walsh falling to the pavement and striking his head.

Mr Walsh’s mother, Tressa, who had flown from Dublin to be at her son’s bedside before he died, said she did not want to see her son’s attacker jailed. She told a Sydney news conference that the other man involved in the altercation was very unlucky and she felt for him.

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A 28-year-old man has been charged with manslaughter following the death of an Irish backpacker in a Sydney beachside suburb.

The man walked into a Sydney police station after the mother of 23-year-old Gearoid Walsh, from Dublin, pleaded with her son’s alleged attacker to come forward.

The man, who has not been named, has also been charged with reckless wounding and assault. He has been refused bail and will appear by videolink before a NSW court on Saturday.

The development came after the courageous mother of Mr Walsh said she did not want her son’s attacker to go to jail.

‘I’d really like to say that as a mother I really feel for this guy who got into a fight with Gearoid,’ said Mrs Tressa Walsh at a Sydney news conference. ‘I am heartbroken for him because we don’t blame him.

‘We don’t want him to serve time in prison. I think he was just very, very unlucky.’

Police had earlier released CCTV footage of a man they believe could assist with their inquiries into the attack on Mr Walsh, whose life support system was switched off as his mother sat at his bedside.

Paramedics called to a street in Coogee feared at first that Mr Walsh was dead. He appeared to have stopped breathing.

Police said he had become involved in an altercation with another man and received severe head injuries when he was struck and fell to the footpath.

He had been drinking with his brother – who lives in Australia – at a number of hotels in the Coogee area and became involved in an argument with a man at a take-away food shop.

Things quietened down and Mr Walsh and his brother left, but returned shortly afterwards and the argument started up again. It was then that Mr Walsh was injured.

His mother said the one positive thing that had emerged from her son’s death was that six other Australians had been given the gift of life from Gearoid’s organs.

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A 28-year-old man is talking to police after the mother of an Irish backpacker fatally injured in a Sydney fight pleaded with his attacker to come forward.

The man walked into a Sydney police station with a lawyer and has been answering detectives’ questions.

Gearoid Walsh, a 23-year-old floor contractor from Dublin, had been on life support since he was found close to death on a footpath in the Sydney seaside resort of Coogee last week end.

But his mother said she did not want her son’s attacker to go to jail.

‘I’d really like to say that as a mother I really feel for this guy who got into a fight with Gearoid,’ said Mrs Tressa Walsh at a Sydney news conference. ‘I am heartbroken for him because we don’t blame him.

‘We don’t want him to serve time in prison. I think he was just very, very unlucky.’

Police had earlier released CCTV footage of a man they believe could assist with their inquiries into the attack on Mr Walsh, whose life support system was switched off as his mother sat at his bedside.

Paramedics called to a street in Coogee feared at first that Mr Walsh was dead. He appeared to have stopped breathing.

Police said he had become involved in an altercation with another man and received severe head injuries when he was struck and fell to the footpath.

He had been drinking with his brother – who lives in Australia – at a number of hotels in the Coogee area and became involved in an argument with a man at a take-away food shop.

Things quietened down and Mr Walsh and his brother left, but returned shortly afterwards and the argument started up again. It was then that Mr Walsh was injured.

Police said a man they believed could help with their inquiries was aged between 25 and 30, of average height and build with short brown, slightly curly hair.

His mother said the one positive thing that had emerged from her son’s death was that six other Australians had been given the gift of life from Gearoid’s organs.

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The Riddle of the Blue Sparrow…

On 16/10/2009, in Animals, by admin

A few months ago, I caught sight of a sparrow sitting on a feeder in my garden in Sydney. Nothing unusual in that, you might think. Those brown sparrows are everywhere. But this one was blue! I grabbed the nearest camera and fired away, although it was not easy to snap it…sparrows aren’t renowned for posing.

I made a few phone calls to the experts. The comments ranged from suggesting that I had seen a blue wren, the bird had fallen in a pot of blue paint, or that I had been busy in Photoshop! Others were totally mystified. I wrote a story for the Daily Mail, which ran it, along with a picture [link here] – and I received calls from ornithologists all around the world seeking more information. Had I seen the sparrow again? Could I find a feather and send it to them so it could be forensically examined? No, I hadn’t seen it again. No, I couldn’t find a feather.

I’ve since learned that a bird watcher on the New South Wales central coast has seen a flock of blue corellas (from the cockatoo family, but without the yellow crown). Suggestions for the phenomenon of my sparrow and the corellas range from the birds cross-breeding with a budgerigar to the birds having ingested food which has altered their pigment. Eating carrots could do this, it was suggested.

There has been a lot of chatter on the web about this bird! [link][link][link]

Blue Sparrow

The famous blue sparrow in my garden

So the controversy rages on. If I see the blue sparrow again, I’ll be ready with my camera.

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