The late father of former Irish soccer player 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 (79) suffered a stroke late last year. He died in the Heather Care Home on the grounds of the Cork Orthopaedic Hospital on Wednesday.
His nephew Paul Murphy told mourners 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.
He told those attending the funeral at the Church of the Resurrection in Farranree on Cork's northside that Marie and Mossie had married there 57 years ago.
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.
"Mossie was always a very proud father of all of his children and siblings singing their praises at every opportunity and never forgetting his roots. His proudest moment was yet to come to see his son Roy captain Manchester United and lead them on to many successes," he said.
Charm and sense of humour
He said Mossie was known for his quick wit and one liners. Paul and Mossie sat next to each other at a funeral mass several years ago. When a family member of the deceased waxed lyrical about the deceased making him sound like part “Lionel Messi and 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.
A great storyteller Paul said if his uncle couldn’t have laughed at his mishaps he wouldn’t have told the story at all. Mossie always had a funny story to tell about his trips away. On one occasion Mossie and Marie had to stay in a hotel after they missed a ferry. When they arrived at reception there was no one to be seen.
Pat said that Mossie went off to locate staff. They eventually found the porter’s room. Mossie said “He was there all right but the but fella was dead.” Pat told mourners that “who else could this happen to?” but Mossie.
Meanwhile, 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 “vigilating by the beside” 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.”
His son Roy Keane attended with his wife Theresa and their children. Their daughter Caragh read a prayer.
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 as well as the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind where Roy serves as ambassador. Offertory gifts included precious family photographs.
Former Cork Gaelic football captain Larry Tompkins and retired Gaelic football manager Billy Morgan were in attendance at the removal as was developer Michael O'Flynn who organised the recent Liam Miller tribute match alongside Roy Keane.
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 were also in attendance when he received 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. Mourners were asked to donate to the Heather Care Home in lieu of flowers.