The final chapter closed recently on the life of a remarkable young Kilkenny man, Adrian Harkin. Born on the 6th of August, 1985, he was the youngest child of Syd and Mary, the youngest brother of David, Maurice and Catherine and true friend to many. His sincerity and loyalty meant he was loved by all who knew him.
Adrian began his formal education in St. Patrick’s De La Salle on Coote’s Lane. It was only a weeks ago that he spoke of the friendly atmosphere that was created by all the staff there. It was here he met a special group of friends that remained intact throughout his short life. His secondary school days were also happy ones, spent in St. Kieran’s College. Adrian then continued his studies in both Cork and Dublin, before qualifying as an Auctioneer in June of 2009. Due to the economic climate Ad couldn’t find employment in his chosen profession and instead he worked in the family bar “Syds” on Rose Inn Strett, Kilkenny.
This was a business he was hugely passionate about, and immensely proud of. In order to obtain more experience, Ad decided to spend a year in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he worked in “Ri Ra” Irish bar and restaurant. He made a huge impact on so many peoples’ lives while there.
Even though he only visited Charlotte for one short year, it is clear that he shared his zest for life and his passion for all the things that were important to him with his American friends and colleagues. The messages of support from all his friends and colleagues in the US have been a huge source of comfort for the family.
Ad loved sport, all sport, but in particular GAA and soccer. He had many enjoyable days playing schoolboys soccer for Evergreen. He was a very proud “Village” man and was never seen as happy as 31st October last, when the “Village” were crowned Kilkenny Senior Hurling Champions. He was extremely proud of his Laois and Mayo roots, and it was here he got his love of Gaelic games and in particular Gaelic football. He represented the “Village” at all ages in both codes, winning many honours. Ad’s finest day in a “village” jersey was without a doubt the minor county final of 2003. He could easily have won the man of the match award that day, or so he told everyone anyway.
Unfortunately Ad was taken from us on March 3rd and it doesn’t seem right or fair in any way. And although our hearts are filled with much sadness on this day, our message is not one of despair; it is one of love, hope and celebration. Anyone who had the good fortune of spending time with Ad can testify to the wit and good humour he brought to this world. He loved to laugh, and more importantly, loved to make others laugh, something he always seemed to accomplish with ease. He rarely cried, and hated to see other people crying or upset. He was happiest when others were too.
Ad lived his short life to the fullest and took advantage of each and every minute. These are the central traits that made up his personality. Though we mourn the loss of such a great friend, and person, we should not lose sight of those ideas that Ad found so important. He would want us to continue living our lives in the same manner in which he did. He would want us to laugh, and make others laugh. He would not want to see us mourn his death, rather celebrate his life.
Ad, it’s so hard to put into words how much you meant to us all and I’m sure I speak on behalf of a lot of people when I say thank you for touching our lives and giving us the fulfilling joy of knowing you. We will always remember your bright smile and warm laugh that will forever remain etched in the hearts of those who knew you. You have left this earthly life, but your spirit will always remain in our hearts.
“I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight I am the soft stars that shine at night Do not stand at my grave and cry I am not there, I did not die”