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Monday 24 July 2017

'Mind-blowing' support as friends fundraise to bring tragic Dublin restaurateur's remains home to Ireland

'Everyone felt that he was their best friend, it’s hard to be a best friend to everybody but he managed to be'

Keith Lawless
Keith Lawless

Chai Brady

A close friend of the Irish man who tragically died in Spain has raised over €5,000 for the family to bring him home.

Siana O’Connor (45) said it was "mind blowing" the amount of support and generosity there was for the late Keith Lawless (44).

Ms O’Connor knew Keith for 25 years and kept in touch, describing him as "her rock". They first met at the festival "The Trip to Tip" in 1991.

"He literally knew absolutely everybody, he was larger than life. 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 every feels so special, he just had time for everybody and connected with so many people, " she said.

Ms O’Conner lives close to Keith’s family in Drimnagh and decided to set up the JustGiving webpage to help them with funeral costs as well as bringing Keith back to Ireland.

Keith Lawless died after falling ill in Barcelona
Keith Lawless died after falling ill in Barcelona

The goal they want to reach is £10,000, which is €11,674.

Dozens of people have already donated to the page, with tributes rolling in from across the globe.

"He had so many friends in all corners of the world and they’re ringing and texting asking how they can donate. It’s just amazing," said Ms O’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 said, "RIP Keith. Sending our condolences to your family from Australia".

"RIP mate, thanks for be always giving, especially in our happy days together in Australia," posted a third woman.

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

He ran the popular restaurant Dillinger’s in Ranelagh, which closed for the weekend as a mark of respect.

He is survived by his daughter, Teaghan (9), "who he lived for".

"They loved to hang out together," said Ms O’Connor.

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