Belfast Telegraph

Funeral held for Northern Ireland peace activist and journalist Ciaran McKeown

The funeral of Ciaran McKeown, one of the founders of Northern Ireland's Peace People, has taken place in Belfast.

He founded the organisation alongside Mairead Corrigan and Betty Williams after Ms Corrigan's sister, Anne Maguire, lost three children when they were hit by car driven by IRA man Danny Lennon in 1976.

Following the tragedy, Mairead Corrigan made an emotional TV appeal for peace in Northern Ireland, leading to protests calling for an end to violence.

Mr McKeown, who was a writer and journalist, went on to found the Peace People with Ms Corrigan and Mrs Williams and came up with the group's name, declaration and rally programme.

Ciaran McKeown passed away on September 1 after a short illness (family handout/PA).
Ciaran McKeown passed away on September 1 after a short illness (family handout/PA).

Thousands of people took part in pro-peace marches organised by the group throughout Northern Ireland, and the organisation also held a high-profile rally in London's Trafalgar Square.

Mr McKeown passed away peacefully at home after a short illness on September 1. He was 76-years-old.

Mourners gathered for his funeral service at Good Shepherd Church in Belfast on Thursday morning, followed by a cremation at Roselawn.

Patrick Corrigan assists relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown into the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Patrick Corrigan assists relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown into the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Former SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell at the funeral of the late Ciaran Joseph McKeown outside the Good Shepherd Church follwoing his funeral on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Irish President aide de camp Paul O'Donnell greets family members of the late Ciaran Joseph McKeown outside of the Good Shepherd Church follwoing his funeral on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown out of the Good Shepherd Church follwoing his funeral on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown out of the Good Shepherd Church follwoing his funeral on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Relatives follow the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown out of the Good Shepherd Church follwoing his funeral on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Relatives and friends of the late Ciaran Joseph McKeown console each other outside the Good Shepherd Church following his funeral on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Patrick Corrigan assists relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown into the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Patrick Corrigan assists relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown into the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Patrick Corrigan assists relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown into the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)
Patrick Corrigan assists relatives carry the coffin of Ciaran Joseph McKeown into the Good Shepherd Church on the Ormeau Road, Belfast County Antrim, Thursday, 5th September 2019, (Photo by Paul McErlane for the Belfast Telegraph)

In a statement released following his death, Mr McKeown's family hailed him as "one of a kind" who "leaves behind him a profound legacy, both for his family and friends, and for the wider community".

He was predeceased by his wife, Marianne, and leaves behind seven children, Marianne, Rachel, Susan, Simon, Ruth, Leah and Hannah, and 17 grandchildren.

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