A 34-year-old Australian man has been charged in connection with the death of Irishman Charles McCarthy in Perth, Western Australia.

Mr McCarthy was walking along Riverside Road in East Fremantle with his wife Nicole, and a friend in the early hours of Saturday morning when he was involved in an altercation with Andrew Doan.

During the incident, Mr McCarthy sustained a head injury and fell to the ground. 

Mr Doan allegedly hit Mr McCarthy in the head with a weapon, then stayed with the Irishman and helped give first aid until an ambulance arrived.

Mr McCarthy's life support was switched off yesterday, on the same day Mr Doan appeared in Perth Magistrate's Court charged with grievous bodily harm.

During a bail application, defence lawyer Adam Hammond said Mr Doan's actions were more like self-defence or an accident than murder.

He said Mr McCarthy charged at his client and said Mr Doan would take the matter to trial, no matter what charge he faced.

Mr Hammond told the court Mr Doan was a father and a full-time design consultant who was "highly compassionate, generous, kind and harmless".

His bail application was adjourned until next week pending the outcome of the post-mortem examination.

Members of the victim's family flew from Ireland over Christmas to be by his side in Royal Perth Hospital, where he died. 

Mr McCarthy, who was from Upper Aghada in Co Cork, worked as a cable layer in Perth.

He is survived by his wife and two small children.