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Photographer Trent Keegan found dead in Kenya

28 May 2008 - Nick McGowan-Lowe

Photojournalist and Ireland-based EPUK member Trent Keegan has been found dead in Nairobi in suspicious circumstances.

Updated Sunday 5pm: Irish national Keegan (33), who was originally from New Zealand, was found dead in the Kenyan capital yesterday. He was identified by documents found on the body, and by the photograph of Keegan which appears on his website.

A police statement said the body was found “in a drainage trench” near the main highway that runs through the capital.

“Initial observations showed that the body had visible injuries on the head. An inquest file has so far been opened,” police spokesman Eric Kiraithe told AFP.


Trent Keegan, in a self portrait taken in Kenya.

Trent’s last known movements were to meet an Irish aid worker Dave Redmond for dinner in the city. He was last seen returning to his lodgings in a taxi.

“We left the bar together and shook hands at 9.30pm while saying goodbye. He walked to the taxi and I heard him talking to the driver that the fare [to] take him into the city centre was too much,” Redmond told the Associated Press.

“The last thing I remember him saying before he left was he does not feel safe travelling with equipment worth $60,716.”

Keegan’s cameras and laptop were not found with his body, but his wallet and money were not stolen.

“We are treating the case as a homicide,” said police spokesman Eric Kiraithe. “It does not appear to have been a robbery. If it was a robbery, the logical thing is that the robbers would have also taken his money. Let us not speculate.”

Devastating loss

“This is a devastating loss for those who knew Trent Keegan, a
photographer who worked to document people in need of a voice around the world,” said Committee for the Protection of Journalists Africa Program Coordinator Tom Rhodes. “The Kenyan police must act decisively to bring whoever killed Keegan to justice. “

Keegan, who was based in Galway, had been working in Kenya since the end of March.

He was the winner of several awards from the Irish Professional
Photographers Association and worked around the world in places such as Darfur, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and the slums of Mombassa.

He is survived by his father Mike and his mother Trish, who both reside in New Zealand, as well as his sister Nikki and brother-in-law Scottie, who live in London.

“Trent loved the world. He had a feeling there were people less fortunate than others and he wanted to see if something could be done to right wrongs”, Mike Keegan told the New Zealand Herald.” I don’t know if he was on a one man crusade or not. But he had an affinity with people.”

Prime Minister Helen Clark has called for a thorough investigation into the photographer’s death.

“Our thoughts are with the family and associates of this talented young New Zealander during this difficult time,” she said in a statement.

The moderators and members of EPUK send their condolences to Trent’s family and friends.

Remembering Trent

Trent’s obituary: can be seen here

Memorial service: There will be a memorial service for Trent at Salthill Beach, Galway on Tuesday night. Please meet on the prom across from Seapoint Leisure Centre at approximately 9.30pm. Rev. Patrick Towers from St Nicholas Church will give a short service that will be followed by the opportunity for friends of Trent’s to say a few words. All are welcome at Massimo pub on William Street following the service.

Book of condolences: A book of condolences will be open for the next month at Bold Art Gallery on Merchant’s Road, Galway.

Online: A tribute to Trent, as well as an online book of condolences and a great collection of his work can be found on his website at www.trentkeegan.com

Want to contact the EPUK Website editor? editor@epuk.org

Comments

we’ll miss Trent, always cheerful and so polite. At least he got to where he always wanted to be, right in the action exposing wrongdoings and waking up the world. Namaste Trent

Comment 1: dave, 28 May 2008, 08:45 PM

He was a super lad. All my energy to his family.

Comment 2: Pierre, 28 May 2008, 09:33 PM

Departed friends are sometimes called selfless. Rarely has that epithet been more true than of Trent: a gentle giant who cared more for others than himself. Those that did not meet him will sadly never know what they have missed. Those that did, have had their lives enriched forever. Go in peace Trent.

Comment 3: Andrew Hall, 29 May 2008, 08:57 AM

Knowing how excited Trent was about his trip to Kenya makes what has happened even sadder – I just can’t believe it. All our thoughts are with him, his friends and his Family.

Comment 4: Edward Somerville, 29 May 2008, 05:01 PM

A huge man in every way.

His hunger and passion, drive and committment an inspiration to any one with half and idea.

R.I.P.

Comment 5: mark logan, 29 May 2008, 06:58 PM

I had the pleasure of knowing and living with Trent. Gentle giant is exactly what he was. I will always remember him for his kindness shown to me and his neverending supply of energy and passion. Here’s to Trent who is an inspiration to us all to follow our dreams

Comment 6: Meave Baxter, 30 May 2008, 08:44 AM

One in a million Trent – but I guess you know how much your loved by everyone

Comment 7: Sandra, 30 May 2008, 08:56 AM

Hi i heard about this from digihitch.com

its saf that he died but he died whilst he was truly alive ya know
alot of ppl die having not lived at all and this man has lived
peace be upon his soul

Comment 8: Ben Cottle, 4 June 2008, 08:38 PM

it really unfair and it show what kind of danger photojournalist in africa are we have to fight for his legacy to live on. a great man,a humanitarian my God be with him

Comment 9: collins m gituma, 6 June 2008, 03:36 PM

Very sad indeed. A great loss. Hate to say it but theft and murder remain the chief occupations of Africa’s.

Comment 10: JACKIE, 15 June 2008, 04:49 AM

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