REPUBLIC of Ireland striker Robbie Keane’s cousin was killed working in a sewer on Wednesday.
Alan Harris, a father of two, was overcome by fumes, believed to be methane gas, when he began inspecting underground pipes in a housing estate in the Portmarnock area of north Dublin.
His brother Stephen was on the job with him and was knocked unconscious by the gas but was rescued by fire crews. He was said to be in a serious condition in hospital.
Keane has not spoken about the tragedy and he trained with the Republic squad yesterday in Malahide, a few miles from the scene, but the Football Association of Ireland confirmed the family link.
Mr Harris was in his 40s and owner of DrainTech, a company specialising in drainage clearance and pipe and sewer unblocking in the Dublin region for about 20 years. The accident happened in the Drumnigh Woods estate when the brothers began to assess work on pipes under the road, some of which were reported to be 20 feet below the surface.
The Republic’s assistant manager, Roy Keane, credited LA Galaxy striker Robbie for his attitude on the training pitch following the sad news.
Robbie, 34, is expected to play a part in Saturday’s Euro 2016 battle with Scotland in Dublin. Roy Keane said: “I don’t really know the ins and outs. But he has trained today, being the professional he is, as you would expect, and as far as he’s concerned he’s focusing on the game.”
Robbie Keane has scored 65 goals in 139 senior appearances for his country, but has played just 169 minutes of football for LA Galaxy since the beginning of April because of a groin injury.