Friday 20 September 2019

Ireland legend Roy Keane and family say final farewell to his father Mossie

Roy Keane is among the pall-bearers at the Requiem Mass for his father Maurice ‘Mossie’ Keane
Roy Keane is among the pall-bearers at the Requiem Mass for his father Maurice ‘Mossie’ Keane

Ralph Riegel

One of the proudest moments of Maurice 'Mossie' Keane's life was seeing his son, Roy, captain both Manchester United and Ireland.

The revelation came as hundreds attended the Requiem Mass of the father-of-five at the Church of the Resurrection in Farranree, Cork - the church at which he had married his wife, Marie, in 1962.

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Mourners were told that the 79-year-old died on Wednesday evening in the Heather Care facility with his family gathered by his bedside.

Mr Keane had been in poor health since he suffered a stroke late last year.

He died just one week after marking his 57th wedding anniversary.

The mourners were led by Mr Keane's wife, Marie, and his five children, Roy, Denis, Johnson, Pat and Hilary.

Mr Keane has a total of 16 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was the youngest of a family of 12.

Mr Keane's nephew, Paul Murphy, paid tribute to Roy Keane's father as a man totally devoted to his adored wife, Marie, his family and his beloved Cork.

"Mossie was always a very proud father of all of his children and grandchildren, singing their praises at every opportunity," he said.

"His proudest moment was to see his son captain Manchester United and Ireland and lead them to many great successes."

Mr Murphy said that Mossie Keane was a great character who was renowned for his quick wit and his one-liners.

He said Heaven had secured not just a wonderful character but also a legendary Cork storyteller.

The mourners included representatives from a large number of Irish and Cork sports associations and clubs including Rockmount, Cobh Ramblers, Cork City, the FAI and Cork County GAA Board.

Among the mourners was Roy Keane's former solicitor and now District Court Judge Olann Kelleher as well as former Sport Minister Bernard Allen. Cork GAA stars Larry Tompkins and Billy Morgan as well as developer Michael O'Flynn who helped spearhead the historic Liam Miller fund-raiser at Pairc Ui Chaoimh last year attended the removal. Also in attend-ance were representatives of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, complete with assistance dogs, as a mark of respect to Roy Keane who is the charity's longstanding patron.

A lifelong sports fan, Mossie Keane revelled in the success of his son, Roy, first in Ireland with Rockmount and Cobh Ramblers and later in the UK with Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Celtic.

His other sons, Denis, Johnson and Pat were also talented underage players.

Mr Keane ranked as one of the most colourful characters in Cork - regaling friends with stories about the football stars he had met during his son's glittering career.

However, he was also deeply attached to his native Cork and, in particular, Blackpool, Dillon's Cross and Mayfield.

He hailed from Evergreen Buildings in Cork's South Parish before he moved to Mayfield where he raised his family.

Later, he relocated with his wife, Marie, to Rathpeacon in the 1990s to a house purchased for them by his son Roy.

Mr Keane famously carried a large sheaf of photographs with him and would often challenge people to identify the famous Irish and English football stars, both current and historic, he was snapped with.

He was closely associated with the pub, The Kerryman's, where he would hold court with stories about Manchester United, Celtic and Ireland.

Sunday Independent

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