independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Courageous Terry 'was resigned to departing for a better place'

Arms entwined, the three daughters of social columnist Terry Keane struggled to fight back tears at her removal last night

Terry Keane had been "resigned to moving on to a better place", friends revealed at her removal last night.

Hundreds of friends and family, led by Ms Keane's daughters Jane, Madeleine, Justine and her former husband Ronan Keane, attended the service to remember the 68-year-old journalist and socialite.

She died on Saturday in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, with members of her family around her, after losing her long fight against colon cancer. She had been on a life-support machine after her latest operation.

"She was very much aware when she went into hospital last weekend," close friend Noelle Campbell-Sharpe said.

"She knew she would have a better quality of life if the operation was successful but, if it wasn't, she was resigned to moving on to a better place. She was very brave.

Operation

"She had a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne set aside and if she got over the operation she was going to have a DP party, which is not an easy thing to do in the present climate. It's so hard to believe that she's gone."

A hearse carrying Ms Keane's remains drove slowly through Glasthule in south Dublin in brilliant sunshine yesterday evening followed on foot by members of Ms Keane's family led by her daughters, grandchildren and sons-in-law, including celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin.

Fr Noel Barber, a Jesuit priest and a friend of the family, accepted the remains at St Joseph's Church shortly after 5pm. During a short service he said that the congregation could be "confident that God always remembers the good that we've done and forgives our sins".

He prayed that God would "gather Terry into his arms" and "be merciful with Terry".

There were a number of prominent faces in the congregation including Integration Minister Conor Lenihan and judges Adrian Hardiman and Frederick Morris.

Ms Keane worked as fashion editor with the 'Irish Times', before joining the 'Sunday Press' in 1970.

She moved to the 'Sunday Independent' in 1989 and wrote a high-profile gossip column, often hinting at an affair with the prominent politician 'Sweetie' whom she later revealed to be Charles Haughey.

Former colleagues from the journalism and fashion worlds were present last night, including the designer Richard Lewis, publisher PJ Gibbons, historian Ronan Farren, socialite Lisa Fitzpatrick, former nightclub owner Aidan Doyle, TV producer Shay Healy and gardener Helen Dillon.

Close friends of Ms Keane ,including Ms Campbell-Sharpe, and fellow journalists Ruth Kelly and Micheline McCormack, were also present.

"Her death seems unreal because she was larger than life," Ms Campbell-Sharpe said afterwards. Her funeral takes place today, after 11am Mass, to Mount Jerome Crematorium.

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