Thursday 27 October 2016

Hill 16 to erupt with applause for tragic Harris brothers and six balcony victims on Sunday


Alan and Steve Harris
Alan and Steve Harris

HILL 16 fans will break into applause at the 16th minute of Dublin's game against Kildare on Sunday in memory of the victims of the Berkeley balcony collapse as well as two brothers who died in a tragic workplace accident.

Alan (45) and Stephen (32) Harris were working on an underground tank in a Portmarnock housing estate on June 10 when Alan was overcome by fumes and collapsed.

Stephen went in to save him but was also affected by the poisonous gases. Alan died on the day of the accident, while Stephen died two days later.

The loyal Dublin fans attended every game their team played in Croke Park, and their old Commer van - nicknamed the Bluebird - was a familiar site.

The same van was used as a hearse to transport their coffins at their funerals.

The brothers' infectious enthusiasm and unwavering support has spurred other loyal fans into action this weekend. In the 16th minute of the game against Kildare in the Leinster Championship, the Hill will break into applause for the two men, and also as a mark of respect to the victims of the Berkeley balcony collapse.


One of the victims of the California tragedy, Eoghan Culligan (21) from Rathfarnham, was a former member of Ballyboden St Endas club and a huge GAA fan. His teammates and members of the club attended his funeral on Tuesday.

The Hill 16 Army are hoping the entire crowd at Sunday's Leinster Football semi-final will rise to their feet in the 16th minute, for the one minute's applause for the victims of both tragedies.

Dave Sherlock from the Hill 16 Army said the minute's applause would be a perfect tribute to those that have lost their lives.

"We originally wanted to do something for Alan and Stephen Harris and two of our followers, Rachel Molly and Paul Corrigan, suggested the minute's applause," said Dave.

"Then the tragic events of Berkeley happened with the six students and we decided it would be fitting to do it for them also. The response from the Dublin fans and the GAA community has been unbelievable."

The group say they've been in touch with Kildare GAA and the Lilywhites have vowed to be involved in the gesture, in what is thought to be one of the first times such a tribute has been organised to take place during a game at GAA headquarters.

The Hill 16 Army is hoping that word of the tribute will spread by social media so the entire crowd at Sunday's game will participate.

Photographs of the Harris brothers are also due to be displayed on the big screens at the grounds before the game. Members of the Harris families are expected to attend the game for the tribute.

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