Dan Keane (1919-2012)


In January 2012 I had the privilege of preaching at the funeral Mass of a great mentor and inspiration to many in North Kerry, the great Dan Keane. I came across the words yesterday in a drawer.

“A storyteller,a poet, a raconteur, an expert on place names……but we all knew a man of soul for there was a place in the ‘Maunie’ where no time or flesh or created thing touched.

We have lost a man that was in touch with what we all ache for – that tranquility, wholeness and pure belonging. Creativity, prayer and love brought the man from Clounprohus there. He used his imagination to get there – he could walk the same road everyday and see something different for he was anchored in himself. 

To be with anyone else, he wasn’t scraping his needs off them. He knew God is the deepest thing in each of us. So he awakened the energy and beauty of the Divine in us. 

Did any of us feel judged, condemned or dismissed by Dan? Did anyone of us hear a bad word or story from him in a time that explores every last taboo. 

The man that walked, cycled, drove our countryside selling insurance had the ultimate insurance policy himself, he lived the life he loved and got blessings from above! As he went through our countryside and our homes he dispensed humour, poetry and blessings. He did the forensic work of naming our countryside of North Kerry and West Limerick. He storied our countryside with verse and song. He wrote on people’s hearts a message that says we are more divine than human-we can handle our faults and flaws. 

In you Dan, we felt called to be ourselves. I remember he saying one day: “take my advice, I’m not using it myself (!), spend time with your own heart.”

It is therefore his wish,our honour that we gather round the Eucharistic table of the Lord to honour Dan.”

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3 thoughts on “Dan Keane (1919-2012)

  1. I have so many fond memories of Dan coming to our home in Dirreen. I can still see him sit back in his serene and relaxed way, pen and paper in hand, and able to continue a conversation as he wrote poetry inspired off the cuff by something a child may have said or done. Time was never a concern for Dan, and yet he always managed to get his work done. One of my favourite lines of his, when he entered our home, was, “God bless all here big and small, those I can see and cannot see at all”…. He did indeed leave a legacy of kindness, laughter and respect upon the many lives he touched on his journey through life.

    Liked by 1 person

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