Witness appeal after murder

Flowers placed for the victim
Gardai in Athy are appealing for witnesses to the violent death of the well-known dissident Republican Larry Keane in Athy last Thursday night.

Gardai in Athy are appealing for witnesses to the violent death of the well-known dissident Republican Larry Keane in Athy last Thursday night.

The deceased man (56) was found seriously injured at St. John’s Lane in Athy shortly before midnight on July 18 2013.

He was taken to Naas General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5am.

A post-mortem examination was carried out by the Deputy State Pathologist Dr Curtis on Friday evening.

Mr Keane suffered severe wounds to his head in the attack and died as a result of injuries sustained during this incident.

At the time of his death, Mr Keane was staying with his son in the nearby Castle Park housing estate.

Athy Town Councillor Mark Wall said people were “shocked and dumbfounded” in the wake of the brutal murder: “People are really concerned for his family. People can’t believe something like this can happen in this town.”

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. It is believed he was in frail health at the time of his murder.

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

As the news spread of his passing on Friday morning, two bouquets of flowers and a single pink rose were placed at a spot near the bridge he was known to regularly frequent.

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. Gardai also wish to speak to anyone who was in the vicinity of St John’s Lane between 11pm and 12am on the night of the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Athy Garda Station 059 8634210 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

- Paula Campbell