Photographer David Sleator recalled as ‘great gift to us all’

Family, colleagues and friends pay respects to ‘person who will be sadly missed’

The removal of Irish Times photographer and Joint Picture Editor David Sleator  at Rialto church today. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

The removal of Irish Times photographer and Joint Picture Editor David Sleator at Rialto church today. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Thu, Aug 21, 2014, 21:07

Fr Diarmuid Byrne turned to Psalm 103 as he received the remains of Irish Times photographer David Sleator at the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima church in Dublin’s Rialto this evening.

“Our days are like grass. We bloom like the wild flowers and as soon as the wind blows we are gone,” Fr Byrne recalled before a huge congregation.

David Sleator’s sudden death last Monday, aged 53, was “a big shock for all who knew him. He was a person who will be sadly missed by all,” he said. It was “a handing over, a handing back. We enjoyed his company. He was a great gift to all. This evening we escort him towards his final destination.”

Chief mourners were Mr Sleator’s wife Judith, their daughter Judith-Eileen, his sister Franchea and her husband Paddy.

A large Irish Times attendance was led by Editor Kevin O’Sullivan, Chairman of The Irish Times Board Dan Flinter, Joint Picture Editor Frank Miller, Managing Editors Willy Clingan, Eoin McVey, Night Editor Noel Costello, solicitor Andy O’Rorke, current and former picture desk colleagues Cyril Byrne, Eric Luke, Dara MacDonaill, Alan Betson, Brenda Fitzsimons, Shay Kenny, Colm Banville, Dermot O’Shea, Tom Lawlor, and Terry Thorpe.

There too were James Meehan Picture Editor of the Mail on Sunday, Chris Doyle Picture Editor at the Sun, current and former Independent newspapers photographers Damien Eagers, Tom Burke, Donal Doherty, Colm O’Riordan Tom McElroy, RTÉ cameraman Michael Lee. Other photographers present included Ian Epstein, Michael Chester, Henry Wills, Andy Farren, Susan Kennedy, Eamonn Farrell, Barry Cronin, John Cogill, Dave Cullen, Tom Honan, Marc O’Sullivan, Naoise Culhane.

Representing the Press Photographers Association of Ireland were current president Ray McManus and former chair Bride Rosney. Séamus Dooley represented the NUJ, with Éanna Ó Caollaí representing the Irish Times NUJ chapel. There too was Labour TD Eric Byrne.

Figures from public relations there included Mary Crotty, Robbie Reynolds, Peter Houlihan, Jason Clarke and Joe Dunne. Toner’s pub on Dublin’s Baggot St was represented by staff Tom Kerrigan and Paul Corcoran.

The funeral Mass will be at 11am tomorrow morning at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima church in Rialto with burial afterwards at Deansgrange.