herald

Tuesday 15 October 2019

'I've done it and I'm coming home' - mourners hear final messages of Everest climber

Mourners form a guard of honour and console one another at the funeral of Trinity College’s Seamus Lawless, who died on his way down from the summit of mount Everest
Mourners form a guard of honour and console one another at the funeral of Trinity College’s Seamus Lawless, who died on his way down from the summit of mount Everest

Everest climber Seamus Lawless celebrated fulfilling his life's ambition in his final text messages to his wife, mourners at his memorial service were told yesterday.

Fr Michael O'Kelly said Mr Lawless (39), known as Shay, had achieved all he had wanted in reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain.

He told the mourners that the love between the Trinity lecturer and his wife Pam, who is expecting their second child, had to face a new challenge with his untimely death.

Meaning

"The last text messages between them were to say he had done it, he was coming home," Fr O'Kelly said.

"Home took on a new meaning. The love between Pam and Shay will transcend this new summit. Love doesn't die because life is extinguished."

Mr Lawless fell while descending and his body has not been recovered.

The search was called off because of dangerous conditions.

Mr Lawless was remembered during the service in the Holy Redeemer Church in Bray as a proud Irishman who loved to live life to the full.

Gifts were brought to the altar by his daughter Emma (4) and nieces and nephews to represent his sense of adventure and the many memories he had shared with family and friends.

These included a photograph of the sunrise taken on the day the climber achieved his goal of reaching the top of Everest, an Everton jersey, and a treasure box brought by Emma filled with photos of happy memories with her father.

A Tara brooch, a Celtic symbol, represented Mr Lawless's pride in his country and also the values he held dear - love, loyalty and friendship.

His best friend Robert Watters thanked everyone who had helped in the search and those who had showed their support for the family.

He told mourners he and Mr Lawless had been friends since childhood and Mr Lawless had been the godfather of his son.

He would cherish the day of the christening as it was one of the last he spent with him.

He gave some light relief in what was an emotional service, saying his friend had taken time on his climb to text him when Everton beat Manchester United 4-0.

He remembered Mr Lawless as the "big brother" he never had. "Pam, Emma, Baby Lawless - you will never be on your own," he said.

Promoted articles

Entertainment News