The late father of former Republic of Ireland player and Assistant Manager, Roy Keane, considered all of his children to be stars and was so cherished by his family that they kept a constant vigil by his bedside in the weeks leading up to his death, his funeral mass has heard.
Maurice "Mossie" Keane (aged 79) suffered a stroke late last year. He passed away in the Heather Care Home on the grounds of the Cork Orthopaedic Hospital in the city last Wednesday.
Paul Murphy, a nephew of the late Mossie Keane, said that his uncle was known for his infectious smile and for his great love for his wife Marie and their five children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mr Murphy told mourners at the Church of the Resurrection in Farranree on Cork's northside today that Marie and Mossie had married there 57 years ago this month.
Paul said that Mossie was "smitten" with Marie from his "first glance" when he first encountered her at his friend Pat Lynch's home. Pat's sister Marie was hard at work under the kitchen table cleaning the floor for her mother when a young Mossie spotted his future bride.
The following week at a local dance Marie was chatting to a suitor but "Mossie sized up the opposition, made his move and yer man got blown out".
"The charming original Keano married Marie on August 10th, 1963. Last Saturday was their 57th wedding anniversary. Mossie and Marie were blessed with five wonderful children Denis, Johnson, Hilary, Roy and Pat. They moved to Mayfield where they reared their family in hard times but always managed to get by.
He said that Mossie was known for his quick wit and one-liners. Paul recalled how he and Mossie sat next to each other at a funeral mass several years ago.
When a family member of the deceased waxed lyrical at length about the deceased, making him sound like "part-Lionel Messi and part-Steve Jobs", Paul got an elbow into the ribs from Mossie. Ever the joker Mossie said "Paul, are we at the right funeral?"
"He said 'I went to school with that fella. He wasn't the sharpest pencil in the box by no means. If he went on the sporting field he wouldn't have known if the football was stuffed or pumped."
Mossie was one of 15 children born to his parents in Evergreen Buildings in Cork. The youngest of the 12 surviving children, he was much loved because of his charm and sense of humour.
Fr John Walsh said that Mossie was equally proud of all of his children and viewed them all as being stars.
He said it was touching to see the family "invigilating by the bedside" of Mossie in the months, days and weeks leading up to his death.
"They were with him holding his hand and loving him to death."
Ex-Manchester United player Roy Keane was at the mass with his wife Theresa and their five children. Their daughter Caragh said a prayer at the mass.
Also in attendance was former Minister for Sport, Bernard Allen, and local district court Judge, Olan Kelleher, as well as representatives from Rockmount FC, Cobh Ramblers, Cork City Football Club and the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind where Roy serves as an ambassador. Offertory gifts included precious family photographs.
Former Cork Gaelic football Captain, Larry Tompkins, and retired Gaelic football manager, Billy Morgan, were at the removal as was developer Michael O'Flynn who organised the recent Liam Miller tribute match alongside Roy.
Mossie worked over the years in the Sunbeam factory in Blackpool, Cork, and at a brewery.
Mr and Mrs Keane moved from Mayfield to Rathpeacon, Co. Cork, in the 1990s. However, Mossie continued to socialise in all of the same places and frequented The Kerryman pub in the north side.
Marie and Mossie were present at all of Roy's major sporting moments over the years. They also saw Roy receive an honorary degree from UCC and the Freedom of Cork city from the local authority.
Mr Keane was laid to rest at St Catherine's cemetery in Kilcully this morning. Mourners were asked to donate to the Heather Care Home in lieu of flowers.