A DUBLIN firefighter who died after a battle with cancer has been remembered as a man who saved countless lives during his career.
Donnycarney came to a standstill yesterday as the family, friends and colleagues of sub officer Robert Kane attended his funeral.
His coffin was borne to Our Lady of Consolation Church on a turntable fire tender, flanked by his grieving colleagues in a ceremonial gesture of respect.
A fire helmet and an axe, the tools of Kane's trade, were also placed on his coffin on top of the fire brigade flag.
The Dublin Fire Brigade Pipe Band also played, and representatives of his beloved St Vincent's GAA Club were also represented.
Before the funeral Mass one of Robert's colleagues, Senan Moylan from Tara Street B Watch, gave a heartfelt eulogy. He told how last November Robert went to hospital because a pain in his back had become unbearable.
"A biopsy confirmed that he had cancer. He fought very hard and was put to the test. On Friday morning he lost that test, but through all his pain and anguish he always carried himself with the utmost dignity, humility," he said.
Kane joined the fire brigade in 1996, starting his career in Kilbarrack. He later took over as sub officer, one of the hardest jobs in the fire brigade.
"Through his career he has saved countless lives. He was a man of great skill, compassion, and absolute professionalism - and an example to all of us. I have witnessed his bravery first hand, and his skill when it was called upon in very stressful situations," said Mr Moylan.
"Rob never put himself first, never bragged about himself. He was always composed and always measured," he added.
"Robbie, I'll be lost without you. I will miss the craic. I will miss the barbecues. I'll miss the nights out, and I'll never be the same without you," Mr Moylan concluded emotionally.
Kane is survived by his parents Thomas and Eileen, daughter Lilly Rose, and brothers Gerard, Derek, Barry, Raymond and John and extended family.
St Vincent's GAA club said Kane loved sport, enjoyed competition and was very athletic and focused, whether training or playing. "He had a quiet steel about him and, we think it's fair to say, would never back down or give up," said the statement.
"He played a prominent role as that same group went on to win the Dublin Minor Football Championship in 1986," the club added.