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Death of Eddie Keenan

27 February, 2009 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin President and west Belfast MP Gerry Adams has expressed his "deep sorrow" at the news of the death of veteran republican Eddie Keenan, aged 88, who died this afternoon at his home in Twinbrook. Mr. Adams extended his sincerest condolences to Eddie Keenan's family.

Eddie Keenan's wife Mary died last October.

The west Belfast MP said:

"I have known and respected Eddie for many, many years. I met him first when I was still in my teens.

He was a republican activist, a gaelgóir and Irish language enthusiast, a musician, a singer, a dancer and a seanchaí - a story teller - par excellence.

Eddie was widely known and loved throughout Ireland and he was held in the highest esteem. He was great craic and a lovely man.

Eddie was also a former republican prisoner who was imprisoned in Crumlin Road jail in the 1940's, escaped and was subsequently arrested in Dublin with Brendan Behan and held in the Curragh.

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

In 1976 one of his daughters Rosaleen and her husband Mervyn were killed by a unionist death squad.

He is survived by four daughters Maire, Fionnula, Una and Jennifer and three sons Eamon, Patrick and Fergal. He was also a grandfather and great grandfather.

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