Steve Harris funeral: tributes to ‘hero who gave everything’

Dubliner (34) died of injuries sustained while trying to save his brother during industrial incident

 

A man who sustained fatal injuries while trying to save his brother’s life last wek was remembered as “a hero who gave everything” at his funeral service in Dublin.

Steve Harris (34) died at Beaumont Hospital on Friday, two days after he and Alan Harris (45) were overcome by toxic fumes while carrying out maintenance work in a drain in Portmarnock, Co Dublin.

Alan Harris died on the day of the incident and was buried on Saturday after a funeral service in Crumlin.

His younger sibling received a solemn send-off at the Divine Mercy church in Balgaddy, Lucan on Wednesday, where people gathered to pay their respects to a man who was remembered as being “full of life and enthusiasm”.

Speaking from an altar adorned with floral tributes and pictures of Steve Harris, a who was budding actor, Fr Eamonn Bourke said “the title hero that is before us this morning in flowers has been used to describe Steve over these past few days. And yet, the title of hero seems to be an understatement.

“Every human instinct is directed towards survival, and trying to remain safe and out of danger... He must have known the danger, and yet it wasn’t his first concern. Saving his brother was.”

Fr Bourke said the “manner of his death gives us an insight into a life of love and a life of generosity”.

The crowd was told of Steve Harris’ enthusiasm for taking part in stage shows, and mementos from his sporting pursuits including marathon medalswere brought before the congregation.

There was a round of applause as the coffin arrived in front of the church carried in the same “Bluebird” Dublin GAA supporters van which brought his brother to his funeral on Saturday.

After reading out a tribute from Steve Harris’ partner Eve and son Nathan, his brother Derek Harris thanked the emergency services and hospital staff for their help over the past week.

“As a family we want to say this: Steve owes us nothing, because he gave everything,” he said, flanked by family members.

“I was told Fridays were a special day in the Draintech office, Steve christened it ‘free hug Friday’ and everyone got a Stevie hug.”

He then urged everyone in the congregation to offer an embrace to the person next to them ahead of a cremation ceremony at Newlands Crematorium.