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John F. Keenan Papers


Keenan, John F. (Ó Cianáin, S.F.)


Reference code:   P2

Title:   Papers of Dr John F. Keenan (1867-1945)

Dates:   c. 1900-1943

Level of description:   Fonds

Extent:   5 boxes, 8 'rubbings' (outsize)


Biographical statement

John F. Keenan (S.F. Ó Cianáin) was born in County Fermanagh in 1867. He studied at Queen’s College, Galway (now N.U.I.G.), first graduating with a B.A. He continued with medical studies there and in Edinbugh and Dublin. After qualifying as a doctor, he worked as medical officer in Carrickmacross district, County Monaghan, and later as assistant master of the National Lying-in Hospital in Dublin. Keenan served as the dispensary doctor in Ballinalee, County Longford in the period 1902-35. He retired to Sligo where he spent the final years of his life. He died in 1945 and was interred in St Emer’s Cemetery, Ballinalee.

Dr Keenan was a keen antiquarian and an active member of the Ardagh and Clonmacnois Antiquarian Society and the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. He contributed articles to the journals of both organisations, and to the Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead. He also published pieces in The Longford Leader. He served for a time as secretary of the Ballinalee branch of the Gaelic League.

Immediate source of acquisition

The Keenan Papers were deposited in the former Longford-Westmeath Joint Library Service by Keenan's executor, the late Patrick Greene (Padraig Mac Gréine) N.T., Ballinalee, and by the late Fr Owen F. Traynor P.P., Dromahair, County Leitrim.


Scope and content

The collection relates mainly to Keenan’s research and interest in local history and genealogy. It includes correspondence, 1909-1933; manuscript notes, 1902-1938, including two notebooks and a series of notes on townlands arranged according to parish (Abbeylara and Rathcline are missing); a scrapbook with numerous newspaper cuttings; and some of Keenan’s published articles with annotations, 1924-[1935]; 'rubbings' of gravestones and other monuments.


Conditions governing access:   Available in the reading room, Library HQ. The 'rubbings' are not available to the public due to their fragility.

 Language:   English

 Finding aid:   Descriptive list