Death of Eddie Keenan
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Veteran republican Eddie Keenan died at his home in Twinbrook outside west Belfast last week, aged 88.

Mr Keenan was a republican ex-prisoner who was held in Crumlin Road jail in Belfast in the 1940s.

He escaped but was arrested later in Dublin with the writer Brendan Behan and held in The Curragh.

He was arrested again in the 1970s and interned in Long Kesh.

The coffin of the the life-long republican was draped with an Irish tricolour during Requiem Mass at Holy Trinity Church on Monday, concelebrated by parish priest Fr Matt Wallace and County Fermanagh cleric Fr Joe McVeigh.

At the offertory procession, grandchildren carried items relating to Mr Keenan’s life, including an Easter lily, his photograph and a picture of his wife Mary on their wedding day.

Family friend Theresa Fox gave a eulogy in which she spoke of Mr Keenan’s deeply held republican beliefs and his love of Irish music, language and culture.

“His high republican dreams were a reality and were practised in his daily life and with each person he was to meet,” she said.

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams spoke of his deep sorrow l following his death.

“I have known and respected Eddie for many, many years. I met him first when I was still in my teens,” Mr Adams said.

“He was a republican activist, a gaelgoir and Irish language enthusiast, a musician, a singer, a dancer and a seanchai - a storyteller - par excellence.”

In 1976 one of his daughters Rosaleen and her husband Mervyn were killed by loyalists.

Mr Keenan’s wife Mary passed away last October and he is survived by four daughters Maire, Fionnula, Una and Jennifer; three sons Eamon, Patrick and Fergal, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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© 2009 Irish Republican News