Monday 20 November 2017

Shooting of mum 'shocked' killer's relatives

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

THE family of the farmer who shot and killed mother-of-six Deirdre Keenan before turning the gun on himself have extended their sympathy to her relatives following the tragedy.

John Deegan shot Ms Keenan (pictured) in the head before shooting himself at a B&B in Carlow town in the early hours of Monday morning last.

His devastated family released a statement to the Irish Independent, saying: "We, the Deegan family, offer our sincere condolences to Deirdre's family. They are in our thoughts and prayers at this very difficult and sad time for all of us."

The spokesman – who is related to Mr Deegan but did not want to be named – said that last Monday's tragedy came as "a fierce shock" to his family and that in his own opinion his actions "definitely don't represent" the kind of man he was.

He added: "This is something that's going to be going around in a lot of people's heads for a long time – the how and the why of things."

Mr Deegan, who was separated from his wife Eileen – with whom he has two daughters – is believed to have been suffering from depression.


The Co Offaly man is understood to have been on medication prescribed by a doctor in recent months.

Mourners at the removal of Mr Deegan last night were told the events of his death "are beyond our comprehension".

Fr Michael O'Meara offered his deepest sympathy to Mr Deegan's wife Eileen and daughters Miriam and Joanne and his extended family, neighbours and friends.

"During the course of all our lives, things happen that we don't have any answers for, certainly the events of this week are beyond our comprehension," said Fr O'Meara.

Mr Deegan is due to be buried following midday funeral Mass in Kinnitty today.

Gardai investigating the circumstances of the tragedy believe that Ms Keenan, from Naas, Co Kildare – who was also separated and had six children including triplets – had no idea that Mr Deegan posed a threat to her life.

The pair had moved into a house together at Lumcloon near Birr, Co Offaly, less than three months ago.

They had spent a few days in Wexford before booking into the Stonehaven B&B in Carlow town on Saturday.

Irish Independent

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