'You Are Beautiful'
James Blunt


Ross Ireland was born September 1980.

When he was just a week old, he was sick after a feed and swallowed food back into his windpipe. Clearly in difficulty, a call was made to a Doctor, only to be put on hold. A decision was made to take Ross to Hospital in the car and speed limits were exceeded along the way.
Ross's airway's were cleared by staff and Ross was able to return home two days later after tests; although it was said at the time that if Jan and Jim had waited for a Doctor or an ambulance then Ross would probably not have survived.

With his father Jim in the Royal Navy, his family lived in many parts of the country, from Helensburgh to Portsmouth, until they moved to Dumfries in 1995.

Image: Ross Ireland

Ross was a pupil at Dumfries High School, and in the last 10 years he has managed to cram the experience of several life times into his meagre quarter of a century.



He believed in living life to the full, only in the words of his brother Richard, he took it a stage further.

His jobs were many and varied, working in the retail sector, and then in the licensed trade at “Robert the Bruce”, “Soutar Johnnies” and “The Yard”.

More recently of course, he was part of the team at “South West Sound” where his duties included:

  1. Counselling the female members of staff, while sitting cross legged on a WC in the ladies toilets.
  2. Making the vital journey’s to Costa Coffee for a caffeine injection.
  3. Complementing the Managing Director on her style of dress; and occasionally answering the telephone.

Of course, if more pressing tasks were needing to be attended to, like straightening Laura’s hair for example, the mundane jobs like dealing with customers would have to wait – even if the phone lines were in danger of blowing a fuse!
Ross and Laura enjoyed a special relationship, with Ross regularly announcing:
“You are soooo suited and booted, - I just love the way you’re turned out”.

Retail therapy was one of his great loves, and he would often disappear with Fiona (Station Director) on urgent trips to Glasgow or Carlisle for underwear, boots, an extortionately priced bag, a jacket and scarf from ‘GAP’, hair dying kits, or something else with which to smarten his appearance.

According to Laura and members of his family and friends, Ross’s spirit was incredible, and he had a real need to make people happy.

Image: Ross Ireland

He was always there for others; he was kind, gentle and caring with broad shoulders and a listening ear.

But he was no push-over, and he had a wicked sense of humour, and his brother Richard regularly suffered his wrath.

At West Sound, Cameron berated him mercilessly for missing an item from the “What’s On Guide”, although Ross won that particular battle after dropping a laxative in Cameron’s coffee!


Ross regularly helped out “On Air” by gesticulating frantically to the presenter through the large glass window, while performing his all singing, all dancing, sometimes acrobatic routine without the aid of a safety net!


But for all his antics, he was hard-working, a joy to be with and each member of staff considered it an honour to be part of his life.

His ‘joie de vivre ‘ was infectious, and as we speak, we can only imagine that at the Pearly Gates, Ross will have already made an impact, St. Peter will have had his spiky hair cut; his belly button pierced and be wearing his purple velvet suit from the Gucci Store.

Even at the Van Heusen shop in the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, two days before the funeral, Jim and Jan purchased a bright PINK tie. 

The shop assistant enquired if it was for a special occasion, and Jan replied, “Yes, it’s for our son’s funeral!”

This is Kya, Ross's dog and like everything to do with Ross, there is a story to tell.

Kya was the only bitch in a litter of five and was rejected by her mother.  Ross had gone on about the dog for some time but Jan kept saying no.

One night, Jim picked Ross up from work and Kya appeared from a parked car. She was only tiny with big brown eyes and once those eyes looked up at Ross's mum, the battle was lost.


Image: Ross' dog Kia

Kya has now been with us for two and a half years and she is intelligent, and a joy to have.

It was a lucky day for Kya when she found Ross, or was it the other way around?.


It's not the years in your life that count.

It's the life in your years.


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