ColumnistsDaragh Keany

The family’s memories of grandad will last for a long time

John Keany
John Keany

I remember heading down to Templemore Garda College when I was in transition year in school.

Like any 16-year-old kid I had no idea what I was going to do with my life but I knew being a guard was definitely an option. 

I also vividly remember looking through a directory of ex-cops and finding my grandad’s name listed as Superintendent Garda John F Keany.

His ‘heroic’ role in my life at that time was the reason I was in Tipperary that day. 

Unfortunately, my grandad passed away this week at the age of 94 and that day 20 years ago was just one of the flashbacks that came to mind after his death.

While the last few years had been tough due to the dementia that had taken hold of his mind – in between the incoherent moments, the seemingly random rants and the many difficult conversations I had with him trying to remind him who I was, there were still moments that were incredible. 

Only last Saturday, when I took my daughters to see him,  his face lit up with joy as we showed him the paintings they had made for him.

I’m not going to lie to you, they were shite paintings, but the four year old in the room was chuffed with herself and the 94 year old in the room was deeply touched. 

Even on that day, four days before he took his last breath, he had the handshake of a man half his age.

He proudly saluted me as I left (naturally I saluted back) and reminded me to “come back next week”. 

Even though I knew his death was coming, it was still a shock.

And while his own memory may not have been as in tune as it was when he was a cop, the family’s memories of him will last for a long time. 

RIP grandad.