Family in Ireland reeling after Tom Walsh gunned down in Florida

Murdered Tom Walsh

The family of an Irish immigrant, who was shot dead in Florida last weekend, plan to bring his body home to Ireland for burial.

Originally from Templemore, Co Tipperary, Tom Walsh (43) was shot at point blank range at the restaurant where he worked on Saturday night.

It is understood he had been counting the night’s takings at the Mainstreet Grill restaurant in DeLand, near Daytona Beach after the venue had closed, when a gunman burst in and shot him before escaping with a small amount of cash.

When a kitchen worker discovered the Irish man’s body shortly before 11pm, he was already dead. No arrests have been made to date.

Walsh had been an employee of the restaurant since it opened in 1996 and owners Phil and Chantelle Martin are said to be very upset over the death.

The youngest of eight children, Walsh left Ireland in 1994 and first travelled to Europe before moving to the US.  He is survived by a daughter, Kira (12) and his ex-wife, Lisa Bennett.

“We just want to get him home because he would have wanted to be buried at home,” Brian Walsh told the Irish Times.

According to Brian, upon hearing the news on Sunday, their mother was in a state of shock. Walsh’s father died a number of years ago.

“He was the nicest guy you could ever meet, an absolute gentleman, an absolute all-round nice guy. He was really suited to the industry he was in because he was very good with people.” Brian added.

A memorial service for Walsh is planned for 10 AM on Thursday at St. Peter's Catholic Church in De Land. Members of the public with any information about the crime are asked to call Detective Tim Hughes at 386-740-6907 or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS (8477).