Sadness at death of justice advocate

The heartbroken father of a young woman who was murdered on her way home from a night out in the summer of 2006 has himself passed away.

The heartbroken father of a young woman who was murdered on her way home from a night out in the summer of 2006 has himself passed away.

Peter Keaney, father of Sheola Keaney, was found in his home at Elm Park, in Clonmel, last week. His body was discovered when worried friends raised the alarm, having not seen him for a number of days.

Sheola, who was just 19 at the time of her death, was killed in Cobh, Co Cork, by an ex-boyfriend. Her father, Peter, was originally from Cobh but had lived in Clonmel for many years, where she lived with him for a time. After moving to the South Tipp town in the 90s Peter ran a hairdressing business on Mitchell Street, in the town centre, until after his daughter’s death.

Peter became an outspoken advocate for victim’s rights in the wake of his family’s tragedy and was a member of Advic, an organisation for the families of homicide victims. In the wake of Sheola’s murder Peter had spoken publicly about his devastation and was passionate about victim’s rights. He also highlighted what he saw as injustices in the court and prison systems and had called on government to provide extra funding to set up specialist units to help bereaved families and friends cope with the trauma of having a loved one murdered.

A postmortem examination was carried out on Mr Keaney’s remains at Waterford Regional Hospital last Wednesday. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack.

Last Friday local friends of Peter’s gathered at O’Donoghue’s funeral home in Clonmel for prayers before his remains were brought home to Cobh where his funeral took place on Sunday at St. Colman’s Cathedral. He was buried in St. Colman’s Cemetery, where his daughter Sheola was also laid to rest almost five years ago.