Sunday 19 November 2017

Victim of murder-suicide is laid to rest

Mourners follow the hearse as the remains of Deirdre Keenan are taken from the church of Our Lady and St David.
Mourners follow the hearse as the remains of Deirdre Keenan are taken from the church of Our Lady and St David.
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

THE violence that ended the life of Deirdre Keenan had brought nothing but pain, hundreds of mourners at her funeral in Naas, Co Kildare, were told yesterday. The mother of six was shot by her partner in a murder-suicide.

Fr Declan Thompson, who concelebrated the funeral mass at the Church of Our Lady and St David, reflected on an incident in his own life "when a nephew was shot and killed".

He told mourners: "This is one of the things that struck me: the only thing that violence brings is pain.

"Even when the reaction might be to lash out in anger or hurt, all we do is bring more pain. Violence will never bring us anywhere other than to this place."

Deirdre Keenan, 51, was shot dead by John Deegan, 53, who then turned the gun on himself at a bed and breakfast in Carlow last Monday.

Mr Deegan, who was buried in Kinnity, Co Offaly on Friday, left no note to explain his actions.

Both of the deceased were separated from their spouses and had been in a relationship for several months. They had recently set up home together near Birr.

Last weekend, they spent some time in Wexford, before travelling on to Carlow and booking into the B&B.

John Deegan had taken his legally held shotgun with him on their trip and detectives are investigating whether he was in the habit of carrying it around or had brought it with him with the intent of killing Deirdre and then himself.

Deirdre's body was found in an upstairs bedroom by staff around 1.30pm last Monday. John Deegan's body was found in another room.

Gardai are still trying to establish the circumstances that led to the tragedy but they have ruled out a suicide pact. Deirdre was shot in the head and died instantly.

Fr Thompson told mourners: "Deirdre's life is not summed up in the last few minutes of her life. There's all of that other stuff that only her family knows about, all the stuff that made up her life."

Deirdre's sister Josephine said: "She absolutely adored her children and her husband. She was a great friend to everybody."

Both families extended sympathies to the other.

Deirdre is survived by her six children – Darren, 30; Jason, 19; Natasha, 18; and 26-year-old triplets Mark, Liam and Linda – her estranged husband Charlie and her extended family.

John Deegan is survived by his wife, Eileen, their two daughters and their extended family.

Irish Independent

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