Heavy security at funeral of dissident republican Larry Keane

There was a tight security presence at the funeral of Larry “Bomber” Keane, the dissident republican who plotted to bomb the British Grand National in 1998.

Heavy security at funeral of dissident republican Larry Keane

The 56-year-old died after he received a serious blow to his head while walking home along a laneway between two housing estates in Athy on Jul 18.

There was not thought to be a paramilitary link to his killing, with suspicions he was attacked as part of a local dispute.

Keane was caught with a car bomb at Dún Laoghaire Port in Apr 1998, with gardaí believing the 980lb device was to be detonated at the Aintree Grand National. He was wearing a wig and had a false passport and false driving licence when arrested.

He was sentenced to 15 years by the Special Criminal Court, with the sentence reduced to 10 years on appeal.

Keane had been a member of the Irish Army from 1974 to 1980. He had been a driver of armoured cars, tanks, and jeeps and had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after an incident in the Lebanon in 1980.

Yesterday, there was a huge Garda presence of both plainclothes and uniformed officers to ensure there was no volley of gunfire by IRA sympathisers as there had been at Real IRA gang boss Alan Ryan’s burial last September. Larry Keane was a prominent figure at Alan Ryan’s burial.

Officers also took video footage of the funeral.

Nonetheless, there were other clear signs as to Keane’s republican past including a Tricolour over his coffin and black flags hanging from the lampposts. A colour party of men and women wearing black berets, white shirts, and black ties and gloves escorted the coffin for part of the procession.

While a 47-year-old man was arrested over Larry Keane’s death, he was later released without charge with a file to be sent to the DPP.

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