herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

'I will never stop loving you Steve', partner tells mourners

funeral

ROBBIE Keane scored a hat-trick last night in a US cup match on the same day as his cousin was buried following the tragic workplace deaths in Dublin last week.

The LA Galaxy captain is first cousin to Alan and Steve Harris who were overpowered by toxic fumes while working on a sewer in Portmarnock last Wednesday.

Alan's funeral took place at the weekend when Keane played against Scotland in a Euro 2016 qualifier while Stephen's funeral took place yesterday.

Galaxy last night advanced to the fifth round of the US Open Cup with a 6-1 victory over PSA Elite.

Keane scored three times and afterwards admitted that returning to the field has been a welcome aid in his grieving process.

"When you're playing football, you forget about everything. No matter what problems that you have when you get on that field, you're just focused on playing football," Keane said.

"It's been a tough couple of weeks but the most important thing is to carry on and continue to play, and do the best for my team. I'm always thinking of the people back home and will continue to do that, but for me, I'm thinking about them, and now I'm focused on doing my job," he said.

Yesterday's funeral of Steve Harris heard he never left home without giving his partner a kiss.

Mr Harris (34) died trying to save his brother Alan after he fell into the sewer pit.

The pair had been working for their company DrainTech, at Drumnigh Woods, in Portmarnock.

Hundreds turned up at Divine Mercy Church, Balgaddy, to bid farewell to the massive Dublin GAA supporter (inset).

The arrival of Mr Harris's remains at the church was greeted by a standing ovation, with a guard of honour led by his and partner Yvonne's TRX fitness group.

MEMORY

The Bluebird GAA van, which the six Harris brothers paid for and decorated in memory of their father, was also present.

Parish Priest Fr Eamon Bourke said Steve defied all human instincts of survival by attempting to save his brother and the "word hero is an understatement".

His brother Derek read out a heartbreaking eulogy on behalf of Steve's partner Yvonne and son Nathan.

"He never left the house without a kiss. We were only eight years together. We only scratched the surface.

"In my eyes Steve was perfect, and I always told him that, even though he didn't believe me," the brother read.

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