Remembering Martin Keane this Christmas


LASTING LEGACY The late Martin Keane’s appeals for food, fuel and toys for the needy of Westport were always part and parcel of Christmas in the parish. Martin is pictured with Santa Claus launching his appeal back in 2010.

FOR most of us, Christmas is a time for coming together, celebrating with family and friends, and enjoying a couple of days away from the hectic pace of life and the struggles of the daily routine.
But it’s also a time when we remember those who have passed on, and the first Christmas without many of those who died in 2022 will be difficult for many.
One of the county’s best-known community activists, Martin Keane, passed suddenly to his eternal reward in February of this year, and Martin will be remembered fondly by many in Westport and further afield this Christmas.
It was normally around this time of the year that Martin would be calling into The Mayo News office to let us know he was continuing with his annual Fuel, Food or Toy Appeal. His singular presence will be missed here and elsewhere, but it is great to see that many of the committee who would have worked on the appeal with Martin have to keep the appeal alive for one more year.
With the cost of living crisis showing no sign of abating, this Christmas will be hugely challenging for many families across the country. With this in mind, those running the Westport Fuel and Food Appeal are asking members of the public to help make it a success. The contact numbers for the appeal organisers are on page 13 of this edition of The Mayo News, as are the appeal’s bank account details, for anyone wishing to donate to the appeal.
There is no replacing the inimitable Martin Keane when it comes to energising and organising a successful fundraising campaign, but any help would be very much appreciated by the organising committee. It is no understatement to say that during his lifetime, Martin Keane raised millions of euros for sports clubs and the needy in the Westport region. One year on from his passing, we hope the many people he looked after so diligently at Christmastime, year after year, will again receive the help they need.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul recently launched its national fundraising campaign, which is entitled ‘Impossible Choices’, and the local Westport branch SVP volunteers have also released details of their annual Christmas appeal in this week’s edition.
The months of November and December are always the busiest for St Vincent de Paul, but it expects 2022 to be perhaps their busiest year ever, as the rising costs of food, energy and housing will make all those Christmas luxuries much more difficult to justify.
So this Christmas, if you are lucky enough to be in a position to donate to any of the local charities, please do, as your donations will go a long way to making sure that other families across the region can enjoy what should be a special time of year.