Toowoomba pays tribute to loveable Irishman
FAMILY and friends filled St Patrick's Cathedral as they paid tribute to Toowoomba man Padraig Gaffney, who died a day after pleading guilty to causing $500,000 damage to a Melbourne hotel.
The 29-year-old Irish-born construction worker attracted international headlines following the incident on April 21 last year, when he turned on a fire hose while drunk, flooding the floors below him at the Fraser Place Hotel.
On May 5 Mr Gaffney pleaded guilty to criminal damage and was fined $10,000, however the magistrate noted there was no malice in his actions.
Mr Gaffney was found dead a day after the hearing.
Employer Michael McNab said Mr Gaffney was a star employee and he would create an annual award in the Irishman's honour.
"He very quickly became a leader at our place, people looked up to him and respected him," Mr McNab said.
"He was fantastic at his job, but was an even better person.
"I would get calls from Paddy, not often; it would be about an issue, never his concerns though, concerns the others had.''
Alan Gaffney told the gathering during the St Patrick's service of how a three-month holiday quickly evolved into a new life for his brother.
"Here in Australia it didn't take long to work out cherry picking wasn't his thing,'' he joked.
Alan told of the love and respect his brother gained throughout his life and his love for a "can and a dart" at the end of a day.
He will be buried in Ireland.
If you need help or support contact Lifeline on 131114 or Beyond Blue on 1300224636.