Murder investigation continues as man released from custody

The man who was arrested in connection with the investigation into the death of dissident republican Larry Keane in Athy last week was released from custody on Friday.

The man who was arrested in connection with the investigation into the death of dissident republican Larry Keane in Athy last week was released from custody on Friday.

A 47 year old man had been arrested on Thursday, August 25 at 7am.

He was detained at Kildare Garda Station, but a statement issued by Gardai on Friday just before 4pm revealed that he had been released.

A file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions, the statement concluded.

Mr Keane (56) was discovered shortly before mid-night on Thursday, July 18, at a walkway between St John’s lane and Greenhills housing estate in Athy with a wound to his head.

Despite receiving first aid on the scene and being brought to hospital Naas Hospital he died of his injuries in the early hours of the following morning.

The victim, who had served 10 years in prison in connection with arms and bomb seizures back in 1998, was well-known to gardaí as a dissident Republican. Although he had served in the Irish Army from 1974 to 1980, which included one stint abroad peacekeeping in the Lebanon, he was later jailed in 1998 for an incident referred to locally as the ‘bomb in the Beamer’.

Mr Keane was jailed for 15 years after being caught moving a bomb in a BMW from Ireland to Britian. The sentence was later reduced on appeal to ten years.

He was described by locals in Athy as “a well known character around the town”, who walked with a cane.

He was in poor health at the time of his murder after a serious car accident had left him unable to walk without the aid of the cane.

As the news spread of his passing bouquets of flowers were place at a spot near the Barrow Bridge he was known to frequent. The Irish Flag was also placed at the spot covered in scribbled messages to the victim including ‘ohh ah up the RA’, and ‘miss you Larry’.

Gardai have declined to comment on allegations that Mr Keane was involved in an altercation locally in recent weeks.

Investigating Gardai are now appealing to the public for information, and are in particular asking anybody who saw or was in contact with Mr Keane in on Thursday, July 18 to contact them or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111. There are no funeral details as of yet.

- Paula Campbell