Monday 19 February 2018

Popular trio mourned by their close-knit community

Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

THE three victims of the boat tragedy were well known in their community.

Richard Harman

A RETIRED farmer, Mr Harman died just one week before he was due to celebrate his 70th birthday. It is understood the tragic angling trip he undertook with three friends on Monday was to mark his birthday.

A native of Adrigole, Mr Harman had originally considered a career as a minister in the Church of Ireland. However, he opted to farm a small holding in Adrigole, and later married and had two sons.

A highly educated man, he regularly charmed both work colleagues and foreign visitors alike by his ability to quote Yeats, Shakespeare and Wordsworth.

He worked in farming throughout his life before, when he sold his holding, deciding to move into Glengarriff where he shared a bungalow with his son, William.

Mr Harman was described as one of the village's great characters, regularly wearing a Stetson or sombrero hat and being a stalwart supporter of local community or drama events.

As well as being a staunch supporter of the Church of Ireland union in west Cork, Mr Harman also devoted enormous time to caring for the upkeep of the historic Adrigole cemetery.

He was also deeply involved in Fine Gael and contested the local government elections in the early 1970s, though his bid was unsuccessful.

Wolfgang 'Mike' Schmidt

MR Schmidt (64) was a native of Germany but fell in love with west Cork on his first holiday in Ireland almost 40 years ago. He returned each year to holiday in Ireland with his family, eventually buying a holiday home in Glengarriff.

Mr Schmidt told all his friends that, on his retirement, he would immediately relocate to Glengarriff, which he considered his 'home from home'. He did so almost 20 years ago.

Known as 'Mike' to all his friends, Mr Schmidt had worked as a captain in Germany's Merchant Marine service, sailing the world as part of his career.

On his retirement to Ireland with his wife, he still maintained his strong links with the sea via a fishing vessel which he kept at Bere Island marina.

He was a keen angler and was said to know the waters off west Cork like the back of his hand.

Mr Schmidt was also a popular figure in Glengarriff and well known in the village's major hotels including Casey's and Eccles.

A staunch supporter of west Cork's tight-knit German expat community, he also boasted hundreds of Irish friends.

He was a neighbour of Edward 'Ed' Dziato (46), the only survivor of Monday's horrific angling tragedy.

Wolfgang 'Ziggi' Schroder

MR Schroder (60) relocated to Ireland less than a decade ago with his Irish-born wife.

Unlike the other two victims of Monday's angling tragedy, he lived in Bantry rather than Glengarriff.

Mr Schroder bought a picturesque bungalow at Saskia, some two miles outside the West Cork town.

However, because of the close links forged between members of west Cork's expat German community, he was well known to Wolfgang 'Mike' Schmidt.

Mr Schroder also occasionally worked at Bantry farmers' market.

He was described as a very popular, convivial figure in both Bantry and Glengarriff -- with a particular love of playing cards.

He was also a keen fisherman.

Mr Schroder paid regular return trips to Germany, where he is understood to have a large extended family.

Irish Independent

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