During the service there were three eulogies given by his brother Wallace; his art teacher and jazz critic, Solly Lipsitz; and his old friend from schooldays, Alan Shields. Here is what Alan had to say:
DERMOD HARLAND - GENTLEMAN, ARTIST AND FRIEND
Beauty is truth, truth beauty
that is all you know on earth
and all ye need to know
Did Dermod Harland change the world
and make it a better place to live?
The answer is yes.
How he did this is simple.
He increased the amount of beauty in the world
Dermod’s personality and his music cannot be separated.
The one thing common to both was maturity;
maturity that arose from a man who understood enough to care,
and cared enough to understand
Never said more than was needed,
Never played more than was needed.
He knew in his soul what it is that you just cannot define
about that thing called swing
He could play a ballad and could play the blues
You see now I’m beginning to define what greatness is;
How he inspired myself and so many others.
Integrity, honesty, all of these things,
and always cloaked in humility
Sense of humour
He could tell a joke, in fact he cold tell lots of jokes
especially ones about banjo players
You can only say so little with words
but music is limitless, infinite.
What Dermod Harland,
Gentleman, Artist and Friend
has left us is infinite
Not only is his music infinite
but so also is Dermod
He is Always
Here are some words about his new
dimensions and extensions
You are a chord change
you are the blues
you are the red of a poppy
you are the blue of the sky
you are a green leaf,
the distance between here and a star,
you are a bird of paradise
The final words I would say to Dermod are these
FRIED BANANA, VERY, VERY TASTY
Dermod was a much loved son and brother, a gifted artist, and a very talented jazz musician. - performing on soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and clarinet. On the first anniversary of his death the jazz community came together to provide a tribute to someone they all missed. A colleague from the Ulster Orchestra, Steve Barnett, dedicated his own composition in Dermod’s memory (Sources 13).
His father spoke these words just before the funeral left Castlehill Road.
“He was born when we lived in Durham, but came to Belfast when he was seven. Nevertheless he always retained a sort of mid-Irish-Sea accent which puzzled many people. It was neither true Ulster-speak, nor true Geordie either, but an engaging admix of his own invention. With living in England, we decided on a truly Irish name; but because we thought the spelling of Diarmuid would cause consternation, we chose Dermod. He must have cursed us often, for everyone got it wrong, including the newspapers this week - but, typically, he stuck with it. His fellow musicians sometimes used to call him Dexter, and I once asked him why. It was, of course, after the great American sax player Dexter Gordon. But his droll response was more pleasing. He said, “ Dexter was chosen for tax purposes or for playing up the Shankill!” . We are all going to miss you, Old Son”.