JUSTIN KEATING 1930 – 2009

Justin Keating was a transparently decent human being. He was an important person in my life. I first saw him on RTE television on farming programmes in the 1960s. He was an academic in the TCD School of Veterinary Medicine at the time. In retirement, he was Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Medicine. When I entered UCD in 1968, he attended debates run by first year students at the Belfield Science Block. He inspired more than me to join the Labour Party at that time. His contributions stayed with me for life. (Remember Brendan Corish – the 70s will be socialist until somebody forgot to tell the electorate) Justin recognised the theocratic nature of the southern Irish state and opposed the Church/State symbiosis. What he said was transparently obvious to 17 year olds at the time. Justin was Minister for Industry and Commerce in the 1973-77 FG/Lab coalition and was TD for Dublin North County. I always admired his analytical mind and ability to communicate effortlessly. I met him intermittently over the next 30 years and he was always unfailingly courteous, warm and interesting. He lost in the 1977 FF landslide and spent a term in the Seanad and two periods at the European Parliament. May he rest in peace.