Saturday 16 December 2017

Church combed for bombs before funeral of gangland victim Keogh

Mourners console each other as Michael Keogh’s coffin arrives at Saint Francis Xavier Church, where sniffer dogs had searched for bombs
Mourners console each other as Michael Keogh’s coffin arrives at Saint Francis Xavier Church, where sniffer dogs had searched for bombs

Sniffer dogs searched for bombs in a Dublin church before the funeral of gangland feud victim Michael Keogh.

A priest called for "no rev-enge" for the killing as family and friends attended the Requiem Mass at Saint Francis Xavier Church in the north inner city.

The coffin was carried into the church yesterday by female loved ones, helped by undertakers, amid security fears that innocent male pallbearers could be targeted.

Fr Dermot Mansfield said it was time to "break the cycle" of violence.

Gardai sealed off Gardiner Street and diverted traffic, and the force's armed response teams kept watch from nearby cars as large numbers of officers surrounded the church.


Keogh was shot dead two weeks ago in his car at Sheridan Court council flats in Dorset Street. A handgun with a silencer was found in a partially burned out getaway car in a laneway off Clonliffe Avenue.

Once inside the church, the coffin was placed on the shoulders of eight men and carried to the altar as a musical group performed the Christy Moore song, Ordinary Man.

At the end of the Mass, mourners listened to poignant messages of love composed by Mr Keogh's 11 and 18-year-old sons, who read from the altar.

"In the midst of our sorrow and bewilderment and worry and fear, you will want, as much as any of us would want, that the cycle of things that leads from one thing to the next would break and there would be no revenge," said Fr Mansfield.

"It's not that everything goes well, but we try to go on in forgiveness and hope and faith and reaching out to another person.

"We all want that, you all want that. Our hope and prayer today is that it is Michael's inheritance and gift to us to live our lives and to try to go forward and make life worthwhile.

"I hope we can all go forward in strength and goodness."

Fr Mansfield said Keogh was taken from life "out of his time".

"Michael was trying to get his life around and go forward in life but he wasn't given the chance," he said.

Keogh's father, Michael Snr, was helped into the church in a wheelchair.

Other chief mourners were the victim's two young sons, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews.


Gardai investigating his murder are working on the basis that it was carried out by a hitman working for the Hutch crime gang.

Keogh was not believed to have been involved in serious crime.

Before his death, he posted on social media that he was looking forward to starting a new job.

Gifts delivered to the altar at the beginning of the Mass included a blue safety helmet and a high-visibility jacket that Keogh would have worn as workwear.

Other items were a protein drinks container and his motor- cycle helmet.

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