Sunday 25 September 2016

'I lost my best mate but I'll make you the proudest dad ever' - Daughter's tribute to tragic Alan Harris

David Kearns

Published 29/06/2015 | 09:26

The Harris' family draped Dublin GAA colours over Alan's grave yesterday
The Harris' family draped Dublin GAA colours over Alan's grave yesterday

The grieving daughter of one of the men tragically killed in the Portmarnock sewer accident gave a moving tribute to her “best mate” ahead of Dublin’s Croker clash against Kildare.

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Alan Harris (45) died earlier this month when he was overcome by fumes after felling into a sewer pit on a housing estate in Dublin alongside his brother Stephen (32).

Alan Harris with his children from left Alan Jnr., Nicole and wife Treacy (right).
Alan Harris with his children from left Alan Jnr., Nicole and wife Treacy (right).

Killed at the scene, the 45-year-old’s younger brother died two days later after he was overcome himself when he tried to rescue Mr Harris.

“We will absolutely smash today for you dad! Can't believe my first Dublin match without you since you dragged me to go at age 11. Now I'm hooked,” said daughter Nicole, who paid tribute to her late father on Facebook ahead of Dublin’s match at Croke Park yesterday.

We will absolutely smash today for you dad! Can't believe my first Dublin match without you since you dragged me to go...

Posted by Nicole Harris on Sunday, 28 June 2015

Posting a photo of his grave draped with two Dublin flags and flowers, Mr Harris’ daughter added: “Still can't get over your gone and that I've lost my best mate. But I will make you the proudest dad ever.”

Family and friends posted reassuring messages of support, with one saying: “He is with you Nicole. He will be with you on the Hill, him and Mikey.”

While another posted: “He would be so proud of you gal.”

At yesterday’s 5-18 to 0-14 Dublin victory, fans erupted into a rousing one-minute applause for the brothers and the victims of the Berkeley tragedy.

Alan and Tracy Harris
Alan and Tracy Harris

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Alan's wife Tracy said the atmosphere was "absolutely electric".

"Everyone clapped, cheered, screamed and whistled," said Tracy.

"The whole stadium stood up, it really was incredible. One woman said to me: 'If Carlsberg did send-offs, then your lads certainly got one' - and it was true," she said.

"It made all of Dublin one big Harris family. That's what it felt like ... If only they could have been there to see it."

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