Thursday 20 June 2019

Heartbreak at last farewell to Séamus

Bray man Seamus Lawless, who fell while descending Mount Everest last week
Bray man Seamus Lawless, who fell while descending Mount Everest last week

Mary Fogarty

A large crowd of mourners attended the Holy Redeemer in Bray on Monday morning to lend their support to the family of Seamus Lawless (39), of Seacrest, who suffered an accident on Everest after reaching its summit.

The Trinitones of Trinity College sang an emotional version of On Raglan Road in tribute to their friend and colleague. The singing group had also led the song during a vigil at the university on Saturday night.

Seamus's wife Pam and daughter Emma extinguished a candle in his memory, in lieu of a burial, as his remains could not be recovered from the mountain.

Shay was an assistant professor at Trinity who, the congregation heard, lived life to the full. Gifts brought to the altar included a photograph of the sunrise on the morning he reached the peak of Everest.

There was a jersey from his beloved Everton, and a memory box brought up by Emma.

Fr Michael O'Kelly said that Shay had achieved all he wanted in scaling Everest.

Fr O'Kelly said that Shay had texted Pam from the mountain top, saying he had done it and was coming home.

'Home took on a new meaning,' said Fr O'Kelly.

'The love between Pam and Shay will transcend this new summit. Love doesn't die because life is extinguished.'

Shay's friend Robert thanked everyone who had helped to try to find the climber or had supported friends and family.

'Pam, Emma, Baby Lawless - you will never be on your own,' said Shay.

Representatives of Barretstown formed a guard of honour, as Shay was raising money for that cause and donations made since his disappearance will be donated to the charity.

Shay fell and was declared missing on Thursday, May 23, after reaching the summit and achieving his lifelong dream.

A search operation was called off due to treacherous conditions.

The Seacrest man was the first person from Bray, and the second from County Wicklow, ever to reach the top of the world's highest mountain, as part of the 'Ireland on Everest' mountaineering team.

Wicklow People