Joe (Seosamh) Keegan 1936-2022

Joe Keegan was born in at 5, Parnell Road, Harold’s Cross, Dublin the only boy of four children. He was educated at the local Christian Brothers School, however in 1973 he graduated from The University of Southampton. Joe passed away after a short illness, he was laid to at Mount Jerome Cemetery, where his sister Saor Éire activists Máirín Keegan is buried.

His earliest recollection of political activity was canvassing for the Vice President of Sinn Féin Tomás Ó Dubhghaill in the 1957 Irish general election, in the Dublin South-Central constantly. As well of his membership of Sinn Féin he was a member of An Cumann Cabhrach ; which raised funds to aid the relatives of Republican who had been imprisoned, the Barrister Seamus Sorahan was the chairperson.

 Sean (Ructions) Doyle was a frequent visitor to An Cumann Cabhrach office in Mary’s Street. Doyle was due in court on a charge of breaking into an F.C.A. (Local Defence Force) store room in order to steal weapons, he was being defended by Seamus Sorahan. Furthermore, the presence of a bailsman on that day was obligatory, so Sorahan asked Joe if he would go bailsman for Doyle and of course, he agreed. There was a lull in the proceedings and Sean went outside for a smoke, when the interval was coming to an end he tapped his cigarette out and put the but in his pocket. When the proceedings in the courtroom were resumed a strange smell arouse and it became apparent quickly that Ructions Doyle’s clothing was on fire. (Doyle became a Saor Éire member)

On a different level,he also was a member of The Unemployment Protest Movement and spoke outside Finglas Church, the Gloucester Diamond and at Letterkeny. When the party travelled to Donegal it included Jimmy Clarke, who had been jailed and interned at different times for his republican activities and who was a member of the Unemployment Protest Movement from it’s foundation. While they were in Donegal ,Joe met two men who had served with Jimmy: Sean Donnelly and Frank Morris; the latter holds the distinction of being the last man to be sentenced to ‘The Cat-o- Nine Tails’ in the North of Ireland as well as fifteen strokes of ‘The Cat; he was sentenced to ten years in prison.

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