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Well-known community activist laid to rest

The late Donal Keenan

A well-known Mountmellick community activist was laid to rest in his native town earlier today.

Donal Keenan served with the Irish Defence Forces for 40 years, where he worked as a chef.

He was a common sight, staging weekly protests against water charges in O’Connell Square in the town.

He contested the local elections  in Laois in 2014 as an independent candidate.

His sister Imelda Keenan has been missing since 1994, when she was last seen in Waterford.

The Keenan family continues to search for answers on her disappearance.

Mr Keenan’s life-long friend Brian Furlong paid tribute to him on social media.

Donal was a community activist and very opposed to water charges, and the quality of our public water supply. I spent two years holding a weekly awareness raising protest in O’Connell Square Mountmellick with Donal and others.

“I tried to get Donal to join the Anti Austerity Alliance but he was a committed Independent. He told me ‘I spent 40 years following orders never again’. Donal was also our excellent treasurer in the Mountmellick 1916 – 2016 Easter Commemoration Committee. He threw himself 100% into any project or campaign he was involved in. The 1916 – 2016 Easter Commemoration Garden at Derrycloney Bridge Mountmellick is part of Donal’s legacy. Condolences to Donal’s Wife and children and extended family,” Mr Furlong said.

Pre-deceased by his dear parents Flor & Liz & brother Ned, he is deeply regretted by his loving wife Cheryl, his son Daniel, and daughters Samantha and Elizabeth, grandchildren Darren & Tadgh, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, neighbours, relatives, former army colleagues and many friends.

His funeral arrived to  St. Joseph’s Church, Mountmellick earlier today (Friday) for 12 noon Requiem Mass. Burial took place after in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.

SEE ALSO – Funding of €3.1 million announced for Mountmellick flood defence

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A journalist for over 20 years, David has worked for a number of regional titles both as journalist and editor. From Tullamore he also works as a content editor for Independent.ie. His heroes include Shane Lowry, Seamus Darby and Johnny Flaherty