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Sunday 17 December 2017

Alan Harris' wife on sewer tragedy: 'The moment my life fell apart'

Alan and Tracy Harris
Alan and Tracy Harris
Treacy Harris pictured at their Clonee home yesterday.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The widow of one of the men tragically killed in the Portmarnock sewer accident has told of how their world has been shattered by the horrific accident.

Alan Harris's wife Tracy has spoken for the first time about the awful events of June 10 - and how they unfolded.

Alan (45) ran his own drain and sewer maintenance company Drain Tech and worked alongside his younger brother Stephen (32).

Tracy Harris was on  holiday in Turkey with pals on June 10.

Lying on a beach in sun-kissed Kusadasi, life was good and Tracy and her friends were reflecting on how fortunate they were.

One devastating tragedy and a phone call from home would change all that.

Darren Harris on left with Alan Harris behind the Sam Maguire Cup
Darren Harris on left with Alan Harris behind the Sam Maguire Cup
Darren Harris pictured with a picture of his hugging brothers, Alan and Stephen
Alan Harris with his children from left Alan Jnr., Nicole and wife Treacy (right).

"I had only said to my friends that we were all very lucky, and that we had great husbands," she told the Herald.

"I actually said to my friends that if anything were to happen at least I could say I had a good life. Then my phone rang five minutes later.

"It was Darren," she said, referring to her husband Alan's brother.

Darren revealed how he had to deliver the news that her childhood sweetheart, and father of her two children, had died in an accident while out on a job with the couple's company Drain Tech.


He also had to tell Tracy her brother-in-law Stephen was in critical condition after trying to save Alan.

"I asked her was she at the beach, was she with her friends, and then I said 'I'm making one of those calls you never want to make'," Darren said.

"I wasn't sure what he was saying. Then he said something had happened and Alan was gone and Stephen was in intensive care. Then I knew something bad had happened," said Tracy.

She rushed home, where life would never be the same again.

As the awful news sunk in she posted an emotional tribute on Facebook saying her heart had been broken "into a million pieces" after losing "her best friend and soulmate Alan Harris".

"Please send all your prayers to his brother Steve Harris who is fighting for his life after trying to save Alan's," she wrote.

On her return to Ireland Tracy had to organise Alan's funeral, with Stephen also passing away ahead of his brother's wake. Alan, who Tracy had known since she was 16, was laid to rest on Saturday June 13. She remembers the day first met Alan.

"We met at the Apartments Club on Fleet Street. Anyone who is over 40 will remember it. It was the place to be back in the day," she said.

"My mother nicknamed the Harris's the Osmonds because they all had these big wide smiles."

Their son Alan Jnr was born in 1988 and is now working in motorsport in Dubai. Their daughter Nicole worked in the business started by her dad.

"We would have been married 23 years this year and we had known each other 28 years," Tracy said.

"It was love at first sight for sure."


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