‘He was such a good man’ – Dublin Fire Brigade's oldest member has died aged 101
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‘He was such a good man’ – Dublin Fire Brigade's oldest member has died aged 101

TRIBUTES have flooded in for the oldest member of the Dublin Fire Brigade after his death at the age of 101.

Henry ‘Harry’ O’Keeffe, who was from Donnycarney in Dublin, passed away on Friday at the Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home in Raheny.

Mr O’Keeffe was on duty with the DFB when dozens died during a German bombing of north Dublin in 1941.

He is predeceased by his wife Teresa and son Tony, and survived by his daughter, sons, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister, extended family and many friends.

The DFB shared the news of Harry’s death on Twitter last night, writing: "We're saddened to hear of the passing of Dublin firefighter Henry (Harry) O'Keeffe at the age of 101.

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"Harry was on duty during the World War 2 aerial bombings in North Strand."

Social media users were quick to pay their respects to the 101-year-old, who was born the same year as the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916.

"So, so sad but bless him. Such a good man. Such a legacy,” one post read.

Another said: “The greatest generation. Thank you for your service”.

While a third person added: “Rest in peace sir. Bless and thank you for your years of service with Dublin Fire Department.”

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Mr O’Keeffe joined the DFB in 1938 and was stationed at the Tara Street Station for much of his career.

He was working during the early hours of May 31, 1941 when the Luftwaffe killed 28 people in one of a number of German bombings of the Irish State during World War 2.

The Dubliner’s brave efforts to save his countrymen that day were immortalised in Kevin C Kearns’ book The Bombing of Dublin’s North Strand: The Untold Story.

DFB colleague Paddy Walsh said in the book: "A woman was trapped, in her bed. The roof had collapsed down and the joists were all criss-crossing on the bed.

"Now I was just five foot nine but another lad with me was a hardy fella, Harry O’Keeffe.

"So we got in and everything was in a heap, the front of the house was still intact, but the whole back was down. There was one joist holding most of the roof still on.

"So he got down on his hunker, if you like, and held it. Then he says to me, 'I’ll hold that and give you time to get in'."

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