Ex-soldier's 'life saved' days before fatal assault
Published 05/01/2010 | 05:00
A FORMER soldier had been given life-saving treatment for heart problems just days before he was assaulted on New Year's Eve.
Noel Keegan died hours after being attacked in Longford town on December 31.
At his funeral Mass yesterday, Fr Joe McGrath said the community of Farnagh were "outraged" at the "tragic, violent, unjust circumstances" of his death. The 60-year-old was on his way to the pub to celebrate the new year with his wife.
He had been overjoyed on Christmas Eve at being given "a second chance" by his medical team who had "saved his life" with treatment for cardiac illness, Fr McGrath said.
Mr Keegan, a former member of the Defence Forces with more than 20 years' service in the Fourth Cavalry Squadron, is mourned by locals who described him as a quiet and decent family man.
Martin McDonagh (23), of Mostrim Oaks, Ballymahon Road, Edgeworthstown, is charged with assault causing harm to Mr Keegan. He will appear before a special sitting of Longford District Court today.