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'We'll cherish him forever', says dad of cliff fall James


James Harrison died when he fell from a cliff near Dingle

James Harrison died when he fell from a cliff near Dingle

James Harrison died when he fell from a cliff near Dingle

The "boundless energy" of a Galway teenager who died in a cliff fall was recalled by his father at his requiem mass yesterday.

James Harrison's remains were brought to St Ignatius Church, Sea Road, Galway for the mass at noon, which was celebrated by Fr Martin Curry.

The 17-year-old died after losing his footing while walking with family members in the Cinn Árd area of Dingle, Co Kerry, on Sunday.

Mourners were led by his father Matthew, mother Máire and siblings Daniel and Aoife.


"Our three stars are everything to us. We may have lost an immortal part of ourselves, our bright, bright son and his destiny, but we can only hope that his light touches us for eternity," Mr Harrison said.

"We will love, cherish, hug him forever."

Mr Harrison paid tribute to his son, touching on his love for his family, school, the outdoors and sports, and "his dear friends who were dragged up mountains at 3.30 in the morning to see the sunrise".

"There was always another corner to turn for James, a walk never ended. There was always another place to see," he said.

He spoke of how James was "utterly fearless", while also highlighting his son's drive and energy on the pitch.

"It was also something that he took to school work, to everything, in fact," he said.

"James worked really hard at school. I was so lucky to have taught him for over four years.

"I was flattered that he wanted me to be his teacher. In his words, he lived his best life.

"He was a great friend to his brother and his sister. He loved Kent and his family there. He honed his bridge-playing skills there.

"He was deeply fond of his friends. He was a wonderful communicator.

"I imagine he was a very generous friend. He was deeply loyal to you all."

Addressing his son's friends, Mr Harrison said: "You were very dear to him."

James's love of Knockna- carra GAA and Knocknacarra Football Club were also highlighted.

"James was a wonderful, wonderful son," his father said.