New York service in tribute to Irish drowning victim

 

A DUBLIN software engineer who drowned off the New York coast a fortnight ago was remembered as a “perfect big brother”, role model and admired colleague by family, friends and workmates who gathered for a Manhattan memorial service in his honour on Thursday.

Eoin Curran (30), originally from Templeogue, had moved across the Atlantic only months before his death. The Trinity College graduate made the move to take up a new post with Google, having also worked with it in Dublin.

Mr Curran was having a sailing lesson on an estuary called Long Island Sound on July 25th when a sudden storm hit. Mr Curran was thrown overboard from a yacht. He was not wearing a lifejacket and efforts by an instructor to save his life by throwing him a flotation device were thwarted by the conditions. His body was found, washed up on an island nearby, six days later.

His memorial service, held in New York’s Greenwich Village district, featured music from Christy Moore and Seán Ó Riada to The Flaming Lips and The Incredible String Band. A photo of a smiling Mr Curran was placed on his coffin, which was draped in the Tricolour.

Younger brother Donal, recalled a period in Dublin during which he had lived with his brother. Exams were looming for him at the time and Eoin cleared his schedule to help him.

In fact, Donal Curran said, he was not particularly concerned about the outcome of the exams. “I just thought it was the coolest thing ever, just to be living with him,” he said. “In my eyes, it was perfect.”

At the end of the service, Mr Curran’s father, John, expressed his thanks for the expressions of sympathy that had been offered to his family. He described “the tears and the hugs” as “the simple things . . . that will help us to build the steps, build the stairs, to start living our lives again.”

He closed the service with a rendition of a Thomas Moore lament, I Saw From The Beach.

Earlier, Eoin Curran’s uncle, Eugene Sheehy, said that while the young man was a rebel who “did not set much store by conformity”, this never teetered into selfishness or arrogance. “Modesty and humility were his hallmarks,” he said.

Mr Curran’s supervisor at Google’s New York office, Dan Sturman, also spoke. “None of us can make sense of what happened, but all of us will cherish that we got some time, no matter how short, to know Eoin,” he said.

Mr Curran’s body was due to be cremated in New York yesterday. Family members said that a Dublin memorial service would be held in Trinity College next Thursday, August 12th.