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Death of Brian Keenan

21 May, 2008

On behalf of Sinn Féin Gerry Adams extended his sincerest condolences to Brian's wife Chrissie, his sons and daughters, Bernadette, Annemarie, Chrissie, Frankie, Sean and Janette and his grandchildren; and to his brothers and sisters, and to the wider family circle.

Mr. Adams said:
"Although Brian had been ill for many years news of his death will come as a great shock to republicans throughout Ireland and beyond.
I want to pay tribute to him and his family and to thank everyone who looked after him during his illness, particularly his friends in South Armagh and Dublin.

"Brian was a formidable republican leader over 40 years of activism. He was a man of tremendous energy even in the face of a debilitating illness. He was a deeply committed socialist and trade unionist who was enormously influenced in his youth by the writings of Connolly and Mellows.

"Brian Keenan's strong endorsement of the Sinn Fein peace strategy was crucial in securing the support of the IRA leadership for the series of historic initiatives which sustained the peace process through its most difficult times. Brian Keenan's dedication to the republican struggle was unswerving. His working class politics and his republican and socialist principles were his constant guide through four decades of unstinting effort on behalf of republicanism.

"In a recent series of interviews in An Phoblacht Brian spoke of the imperative 'at a time of great change' to 'constantly lay out the republican vision. We need to constantly remind people we are for liberty, equality, fraternity. We are against exploitation and inequality.'

"He urged republicans to 'look at the opportunities that are there to move the struggle forward to reunification and independence'.
Brian Keenan was a good friend and gifted and steadfast republican. He made an incalculable contribution to the republican struggle.
Brain will be greatly missed by his family and friends and by the many republicans who over the years have been touched by his generosity, friendship, and humour." ENDS

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