'Love doesn't die because life is extinguished' - priest's comfort to family at memorial of Mount Everest climber Seamus Lawless
Hundreds turned out to pay their respects at the memorial service for Irish Mount Everest climber Seamus Lawless which took place in The Holy Redeemer Church in Bray this morning.
The Trinity lecturer was remembered as a proud Irish man who loved to live life to the full, with gifts being brought to the alter by his daughter Emma and nieces and nephews in his memory to represent his sense of adventure and the many happy memories he had shared with family and friends.
These included a photograph of the sunrise taken on the day the climber achieved his life goal of reaching the top of Everest, an Everton jersey, and a treasure box brought to the altar by Emma filled with photos of happy memories with her father.
A Tara brooch, a Celtic symbol, represented Shay's pride in his country and also the values he held dear - love, loyalty and friendship.
Speaking during the service, Fr Michael O'Kelly said Seamus, known as Shay, had achieved all he had wanted in reaching the summit of Everest.
He said now the love between Shay and his wife Pam had to face a new challenge with the untimely passing of the 39-year-old.
"The last text messages between them were to say he had done it, he was coming home," Fr Michael told the packed church.
"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."
Shay's best friend Robert Watters thanked everyone who had helped in the rescue efforts for the climber and those who had showed their support during a terrible week.
He told mourners how they had been friends since childhood and Shay had been the godfather of his son.
He said 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 Shay as the "big brother" he never had.
"Pam, Emma, Baby Lawless - you will never be on your own," he said.
The Trinitones choir sang at the service, performing Raglan Road and The Parting Glass.
The search for Seamus was called off last week despite best efforts to retrieve his body after he fell descending the world's highest mountain.