herald

Monday 27 March 2017

Appeal raises €5,000 to bring tragic Keith's body home from Spain

Keith Lawless died unexpectedly in Barcelona last Saturday
Keith Lawless died unexpectedly in Barcelona last Saturday

A close friend of an Irishman who died unexpectedly in Spain has managed to raise more than €5,000 to help bring his remains home.

Siana Connor (45) said the support and generosity shown towards Keith Lawless' family was "mind-blowing".

Mr Lawless (44) was well-known for running popular restaurant Dillinger's in Ranelagh, which was closed for the weekend as a mark of respect.

Ms Connor had known him for 25 years and kept in touch with him, describing him as "her rock".

They first met at the Feile Festival in 1991.

"He literally knew absolutely everybody, he was larger than life," said Ms Connor.

"Everyone felt that he was their best friend. It's hard to be a best friend to everybody, but he managed to be.

"He managed to make everyone feel so special, he just had time for everybody and connected with so many people."

Tributes

Ms Connor lives close to Mr Lawless' family in Drimnagh and decided to set up the JustGiving webpage to help them with funeral costs and bringing his remains home to Ireland.

The goal is £10,000 (€11,674). By last night, 90 people had donated to the page, with tributes rolling in from across the world.

"He had so many friends in all corners of the world and they're ringing and texting and asking how they can donate. It's just amazing," said Ms Connor.

One post read: "Keith was a lovely man, kind, generous to a fault.

"I feel so sorry for all those close to him, his family, his daughter and his friends and how they must be feeling. RIP Keith."

Another person wrote: "RIP Keith. Sending our condolences to your family from Australia".

Another wrote: "RIP mate, thanks for be always giving, specially in our happy days together in Australia."

Mr Lawless died suddenly in Barcelona last Saturday to the shock and grief of his friends and family.

He is survived by his nine-year-old daughter, Teaghan, "who he lived for", said Ms Connor.

"They loved to hang out together," she added.

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