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Saturday 20 September 2014

Keane's widow 'moved' by portrait of John B

Published 30/05/2014 | 02:30

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Mary Keane and grand-daughters Laura and Maggie hold the portrait of the late playwright.
Artist Cian McLoughlin talks to Mary Keane at the Gaeity Theatre Leon Farrell/ Photocall Ireland

JOHN B Keane's widow Mary said she was "moved beyond belief" when a portrait of her late husband was unveiled in the bar of the Gaiety Theatre last night.

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Painted by renowned artist Cian McLoughlin and commissioned by MCD's Caroline Downey and Denis Desmond, the porcelain blue and white painting depicts playwright Keane at various stages throughout his life – his wife standing in the background watching him.

"Sure isn't it a grand place to be. Keeping an eye on the man himself," Mrs Keane said.

"I am absolutely delighted with it – it's a kaleidoscope of his life. It captures everything about John – I'm 85 years old but I would have flown to the moon and back to ensure I was here tonight."

Morah Ryan, Anne Cassin and broadcaster Gay Byrne all attended the opening night.

"He was a great man," Gay Byrne said. "As smart as a whip and a pleasure to listen to. Any time he appeared on the Late Late the audience would sigh with relief, they knew they were in for a good story."

'Moll' is the first production in the theatre's inaugural John B Keane season and will run until June 21.

Irish Independent

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