'He wasn't just my dad he was Big Al and I was little Al' - Son pays emotional tribute at funeral of tragic Alan Harris
Wishes to use Alan's beloved Dublin BlueBird van at funeral comes true
Published 13/06/2015 | 12:28
The son of Alan Harris (45) has paid an emotional tribute at the funeral of his father, who died last Wednesday while working on a sewer in Portmarnock.
The congregation stood in solidarity with Alan Jnr, in the Church of St Agnes in Crumlin this morning, as he described the love he had for his father.
"I just want to say thanks to everybody for coming here today and showing your support for my dad - it's just the vision of how many people he touched in his life, he wasn't just my dad he was everyone's Big Al and I was little Al," he said.
Alan Snr died when he was overcome by toxic fumes while working on the sewer.
His brother Stephen (34), went down to save him, but he too was overcome by the fumes and he passed away yesterday morning.
"Stephen tried to save my dad's life, to Stephen," said Alan Jnr this morning, while holding a clasped fist in the air and to a round of applause from the congregation.
Parish Priest Father David Fleming said that today was a day of "mixed emotions," and little answers for the Harris families.
"On this sad day we have very few answers, we ask why Alan could not be left to his family any longer, we cannot explain.
"We have many mixed feelings and emotions, anger, sadness, helplessness, despair and we also grieve the sudden and untimely loss of Alan," said Fr Fleming.
In a packed church, where mourners stood in the aisles, there were floral tributes in blue and white flowers for the father-of-two and photos of him and his brother Stephen.
Alan's grieving wife Tracy and daughter Nicole were in attendance as were his brothers, David, Mark, Derek, Darren and sister Grainne and mother Gertrude.
His family's wishes, to use Alan's BlueBird bus at the funeral, came true. It accompanied the hearse covered in photos of the devoted father and Dubs fan.
His cousin, soccer star, Robbie Keane, who was to play in Ireland's Euro qualifier against Scotland this evening, was not seen at the funeral.