Friday 16 November 2018

Son of Chief Justice and Terry Keane found dead in flat

CHARLES MALLON and JIM CUSACK THE only son of Chief Justice Ronan Keane and his estranged wife, Terry Keane, has been found dead in a Dublin flat.

The circumstances of the death of Timothy (Tim) Keane, who was 39, have not yet been established, but he appears to have died in a tragic accident.

His body was found on the floor of his flat in Harold's Cross Road, Dublin, on Friday morning. The discovery was made by his landlord, and he had not been seen since last Monday.

Last night Terry Keane and other family members were returning from holiday in France. A devastated Mr Justice Keane is making arrangements in Dublin.

Tim Keane, who was single, had inherited his parents' literary talents and was an accomplished reviewer and journalist. He had contributed a number of articles to the Sunday Independent .

Last night the Editor, Aengus Fanning said: "Tim had an exceptional talent that, unfortunately, never found its full expression. At his best he could write beautifully, and his erudition and love of literature was impressive. We in the Sunday Independent extend our deepest sympathy to the Keane family."

Writer and poet Brendan Keneally said: "Timothy was a gentle man. He was that rare thing, a patient listener, and this gift, and his thoughtfulness, ensured that his conversation was full of deep insights and that his observations on people were compassionate."

Actress Jeananne Crowley said last night: "He was a very gentle, poetic soul who had the temperament of an artist. But unfortunately he had no armour against the slings and arrows of life."

The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, expressed his "deepest sympathy to the Chief Justice and to Terry".

The Garda press office initially said they were not naming him and were not releasing the post-mortem findings.

"Gardai in Terenure are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the death of a man in his late 30s whose body was discovered yesterday in a house in Harold's Cross Road, Dublin.

"The results of a post-mortem examination, which has been completed, are not being released. The deceased is not being named and gardai are continuing with their enquiries," said an official statement. But hours later they officially named Tim Keane, but did not disclose details of the post-mortem.

An investigation is being led by Chief Supt Joe McGarty, head of the Dublin South division of the force.

Garda sources said there were no signs of a struggle at the apartment but that his death "could still be suspicious or the result of an accident". However, one senior officer said that accidental death was the most likely cause of the tragedy. He had suffered injuries to his left arm and was found lying on his back between the bedroom and a small kitchen.

A neighbour said: "The guards questioned everyone. They asked us where we were from Monday to Friday and if we saw anything suspicious."

Tim lived alone in the ground floor flat at the rear of the Georgian house - which is divided into eight flats - set back from Harold's Cross Road. Yesterday Garda technical bureau officers were still examining the scene.

The Chief Justice, who will be 72 on Tuesday week, was informed of his son's death at his home in Richmond Park, Monkstown, Co Dublin, while the news was broken to Terry Keane at her home in the south of France.

The Chief Justice earlier on Friday attended the memorial service at the RDS for his friend and former Irish Times editor Douglas Gageby.

Ronan Keane was appointed Chief Justice at the age of 68 having been made a Judge by the Jack Lynch government and elevated to the High Court in 1979 by Charles Haughey's government.

Terry Keane has three daughters, Jane, Madeleine, a journalist with the Sunday Independent and Justine, who is married to celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin.

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