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Robin Keane

Robin Keane, Crossboyne and London
ROBIN Keane, London and formerly of Crossboyne, who died recently in a road accident between Bohola and Ballyvary, was a member of one of Crossboyne’s best-known families. News of the tragedy was received with shock and sadness throughout the region. Robin and his wife Pauline were on their way from London to Belcarra (where they had built a new home) when the accident took place.
Keane’s pub in Crossboyne has been a famous establishment for many years in this part of Mayo which lies close to Claremorris and Ballindine. Much of the community-related events in the region centred around the premises down through the decades.
Robin (57) was the third eldest in a family of ten, seven sons and three daughters born to the late Vincent and Maureen Keane. During his young years, he was always full of ideas, thinking ahead and coming up with fresh and novel plans.
In the mid-1980s, Robin (who was christened Malachy Christopher) ran the shop in Ballindine which is now owned by the Coen family of Lehinch. During that period, he was also involved in the pub business in Ballindine, where he operated the Robin’s Nest and The Steering Wheel.
The late 1980s was a time when the country was in deep recession and, like so many others from all over the country, Robin departed these shores. London was his destination, where he undertook night classes after spotting a niche in the market for specialised carpentry. He soon began to build up a substantial business and also acquired the Lansdowne Pub in London. In more recent times, Robin also purchased The Star in Harrow, London and was taking a keen interest in both ventures.
Robin and his wife Pauline (nee Nally from Belcarra) raised a family of four, Maureen, Malachy, Alan and Deirdre. Maureen resides in Australia while Deirdre, Malachy and Alan live in London.
He was back and over on a regular basis and loved to maintain old friendships in Crossboyne, Ballindine and Claremorris. He had a wonderful affinity with his home area and took a special interest in matters relating to local history. It was one of his most cherished ambitions to see the old graveyard in Crossboyne, adjacent to the ruins of the Church of Ireland, restored and returned to the condition and dignity befitting of sacred places. Perhaps it would be a fitting legacy to the memory of Robin for the people in the Crossboyne area to undertake such a clean-up and restoration project this spring and summer.
A staunch follower of Gaelic games, he was a loyal supporter of Garrymore in his young years. During his time in Ballindine, he was actively involved with the Davitts club and supported them in various ways during those times.
Robin’s death in such tragic circumstances cast a shadow of sadness across the region. The community tenders condolences to Pauline and the family and to all the Keane family and the extended circle of relations and friends on their great loss.
Removal took place from Our Lady’s Funeral, Claremorris to Crossboyne Church with the funeral proceeding to Breaffy Cemetery following Requiem Mass. Large crowds were present on both occasions with a big overflow congregation at the Mass.
In his homily, Msgr Dermot Moloney said the hope for all was that the pain of the suddenness of the loss would in time be lessened by memories of Robin’s life. He recalled reading a book once about Senator Robert Kennedy, brother of President John Kennedy. Both were assassinated during their political lives. After his tragic death, his remains were brought by train from California across America. The journey took two days and the author described how, gradually, the mood of the people on board the train changed over the two days as they exchanged memories of Kennedy’s life and saw the crowds that gathered at the small railway towns all across the States to share in the mourning. The mood changed from despair to a sense of hope and thanks.
“It is exactly that sense of hope and thanks for Robin’s life that we pray will come to those who grieve today and that the memories will console them in the years ahead,” said Msgr Moloney.
“Robin Keane lived in London all the twelve years I am here in Crossboyne but I feel I knew him well. He was that sort of person, if you met him once or twice the memory stayed with you because he was warm and friendly, with an energy and enthusiasm that caught one’s attention.
“He wrote an article in the Crossboyne magazine a few years ago about his childhood here and you could see this positive take of life shining through every line of it. His family will have many personal memories and the very many people who knew him in the different places where he worked and lived will all have had memories to share in these days.,” added Msgr Moloney.
Robin is survived by his wife Pauline, sons Alan and Malachy, daughters Deirdre and Maureen, son-in-law Steve, grandson Lucas, brothers TJ (Claremorris), Francis (Galway), John V (Aughagower), Gabriel Dublin), Aiden (Dublin) and Declan (London), sisters Phil (England), Marie (Claremorris) and Nancy (Claremorris), in-laws, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.
- MC.