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Thomas McKeever: Greatly respected city centre solicitor

The death of Thomas McKeever, Belfast solicitor

'IT WAS WITH GREAT PRIDE THAT HE SAW HIS SON THOMAS GRADUATE FROM QUEEN'S IN 1988'

Solicitor Thomas Anthony McKeever, whose name was synonymous with Howard Street in Belfast, died recently. He was 90.

Born in 1923 at Killygarn, Largy, Portglenone, he was raised on a farm. He obtained his law degree in 1948 and qualified as a solicitor in 1951, having attended Queen's University.

He opened his own practice in 1956 at Howard Street. Between 1970 and 1974 he worked in partnership with the late Francis J Irvine in the firm of Irvine & McKeever. In 1974, he reopened his own practice, again in Howard Street. He moved down the street in 1982 to number 25, where he remained until his retirement 1988. By then he had served both sides of the community for 32 years with distinction.

It was with great pride that he witnessed his son Thomas graduate in law in 1988, also from Queen's University, exactly 40 years after his own graduation and then follow in his footsteps by qualifying as a solicitor in 1990.

In the early days of the Troubles his social conscience saw him heavily involved in assisting with Belfast's housing problems and displacement of people.

He was hugely respected for his sound advice, considered opinions, attention to detail, drafting skills, tenacity on behalf of his clients, honesty and integrity, focus on justice and logical mind.

He is survived by wife Dympna, who he married in 1958, daughters Eilish and Dympna, Thomas, five grandchildren, brother Joseph and sister Sr Clare. He was predeceased by his daughter Aine, six sisters and three brothers.

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