The funeral service will take place later this week of Richard Keith, the 27-year-old Cornafean man who died suddenly in Perth just over a week ago. The former student of Cavan Vocational School and a graduate from Dublin Institute of Technology had been living and working in Western Australia in construction for the past number of years.
He suffered a suspected heart attack and collapsed at his home on the afternoon of Sunday, February 9, while with friends. He was subsequently rushed to hospital where medics battled to save his life but he passed away a short time later.
An ardent fan of GAA, who played for the local Cornafean team at various underage levels, a memorial service was held at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, Subiaco in Perth last Friday. It was attended by friends of Mr Keith as well as members of the local St Finbarr’s GFC, to whom he was affiliated.
Friendly and fun-loving, news of Mr Keith’s sudden death has rocked both the close-knit communities of Cornafean and similarly the Irish population living in Perth and tributes continue to be paid to him and sympathy extended to his family here in Ireland.
Having spent Christmas at home, Mr Keith had only just gone back to Perth on New Year’s Eve. He had told friends and family that he harboured hopes of returning to Ireland again in the not too distant future. His death came just weeks after the passing of another young Irishman, Donegal-native Jamesie Maloney (38) who had also spent Christmas in Ireland, and had returned to Perth in the New Year. The Department of Foreign Affairs provided consular assistance to Mr Keith’s family in assisting the repatriation of the young man’s body back to Ireland.
Friends of Mr Keith in Australia have meanwhile have set up a fundraising account to assist Mr Keith’s family. Along with the account, donation buckets have been placed around Perth’s Irish bars.