The death took place recently of one of the founding members of Clare Fianna Fáil and Raheen Hospital Support Group.
Ned Keane was a man renowned across East Clare for the great work he has done for Raheen Hospital as chairman of the hospital support group, a role he only gave up in his 93rd year. He was also a founding member and was one of the joint presidents of the Fianna Fáil Clare Comhairle Ceantair. He was one of the most regular attendees of Fianna Fáil meetings over the years. He was a personal friend of many ministers in the political field and was a great supporter of Bill Loughnane and Brendan Daly.
At his funeral last week a large contingent from the party gathered to form a guard of honour.
The Flagmount man was the founder and chairman of the Raheen Hospital Support Group for 30 years and in that time he, together with his strong, active committee, delivered on providing a day centre, a short-term stay unit, a bus service and specialised beds for the East Clare facility.
In 2011, he was named honorary president of the support group when he handed over the reins as chairman to his friend and co-founder, William McLysaght.
Speaking to The Clare Champion in 2011 Ned spoke of the many projects the support group took on during his 30 years with them.
The group’s initial campaign put Raheen hospital firmly on the agenda with the health boards after an innovative fundraiser yielded approximately €100,000 for the hospital and led to the development of Raheen Day Centre.
The hospital has never been without difficulty however, as over the years there were many threats to close the facility and more recently staff shortages and a lack of funding led to beds being closed, which was a disappointment to Ned.
“When we started, we had 37 beds in the hospital in total; now we have 28 but they knocked off five beds now we’re down to 23 if it goes down below 20 then it’s closed. You couldn’t pay for a hospital with under 20 beds. It was the older people in this country that made this country, that brought it from what it was and they have no regard for them,” Ned said.
Ned, who lived in Cahermurphy House, Flagmount, is predeceased by his wife Mary and is survived by his son, James and three daughters, Margaret, Ann and Maura and extended family. He died peacefully at the hospital he served so well.
County Councillor Pat Hayes said he wanted to acknowledge all his years service to the party and hoped he would be remembered for the great work he did for Raheen Hospital.