Thursday 22 February 2018

Boat victim to rest in cemetery he tended for years

Ralph Riegel

A PENSIONER who died in a motor cruiser tragedy alongside two friends just one week before his 70th birthday will be buried in the cemetery he spent his entire adult life helping to care for.

Father-of-two Richard Harman (69) died alongside German nationals Wolfgang 'Mike' Schmidt (64) and Wolfgang Schroder (60) last Monday when the motor cruiser they were fishing from caught fire off the west Cork coast.

The eight-metre Bere Island-based vessel, Castaway, is then believed to have exploded, before sinking after burning fiercely for almost 50 minutes.

American Edward 'Ed' Dziato (46) fought desperately to help the other three men in the freezing waters off Berehaven, but was the only one to survive after a dramatic air-sea rescue mounted by an Irish Coastguard Sikorsky helicopter.

Mr Dziato is expected to attend the funeral of Mr Harman, who was described as one of Glengarriff's most colourful characters.

A retired farmer, Mr Harman lived with his son Willie in the village -- and was a popular figure around Glengarriff, often wearing headgear ranging from a Stetson to a sombrero.


He was a keen support of local cultural activities, and all major community events have been cancelled as a mark of respect for the three deceased.

Mr Harman will be removed tonight from Coakley's funeral home to St Brendan's Church in Bantry, Co Cork.

His funeral will take place following a service at 2pm tomorrow and he will be buried at the Old Cemetery in his native Adrigole.

Mr Harman -- a staunch supporter of west Cork's Church of Ireland union -- had spent years carefully tending to Adrigole cemetery, which dates back hundreds of years.

The Harman family has asked that, instead of giving flowers, mourners make a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.

No details have been released of the funeral arrangements for Mr Schmidt or Mr Schroder.

However, Mr Schmidt is expected to be buried in Glengarriff, the west Cork village that he fell in love with more than 40 years ago.

A retired German merchant marine captain, Mr Schmidt was fondly known to locals as 'Mike', and had always said he would permanently relocate to Glengarriff once he retired.

He had been holidaying each year in Cork since the 1970s.

He lived with his wife, Ina, in a beautiful house near the Dziato family some 3km outside Glengarriff village.

Mr Schroder is the only one of the three deceased not to reside in Glengarriff.

He lived at Saskia outside Bantry with his partner.

Irish Independent

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