The town of Killybegs was plunged into darkness last weekend as the town bade farewell to one of the community’s most popular sons.
The father of two young children, 48-year-old Brendan O’Keeney was one of the most popular figures in the community of south and west Donegal - this was reflected by the large numbers who attended his wake over the weekend and his funeral Mass on Monday morning.
Fr. Colm O’Gallachóir was joined by eight other priests in St. Mary’s Church of the Visitation concelebrating a Mass where hundreds of mourners turned out in tribute to a great friend.
Fr. Colm said: “There had been a tsunami of prayer, support and sadness over this town over the last few days with the passing of the much loved Brendan.
“Brendan was diagnosed with cancer in March 2012 - it was a shock to the system. You place your trust in God and in modern medicine but sometimes things don’t work out the way we expect.
“In a miraculous way he recovered enough to be at his daughter Chloe’s side for her confirmation this year and was also able to take a holiday of a lifetime with his family just a few weeks ago.
“Along with his wife Catriona, children Daniel and Chloe they visited the west coast of America and returned to Hawaii and the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon.
“On his return home it was soon discovered that the cancer had returned. Brendan’s family have been visited by this awful disease in the past with a brother, Martin; sister, Fionnuala and nephew Darren succumbing to the disease in earlier years.”
Fr. Colm added: “Brendan was a Killybegs man through and through - he went to school locally in the town - it is a tribute to the man that so many of the pupils are here today. He had a great passion for motor bikes, busses and was a compulsive mobile ‘phone user. Through his wheeling and dealing he managed to acquire cars for many in the town. He was always most at home when he was at home.”