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sad passing Tributes paid to novelist and former RTÉ journalist Colm Keane as he dies aged 70


Former RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Colm Keane

Former RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Colm Keane

Former RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Colm Keane

Tributes have been paid to the novelist and former RTÉ journalist Colm Keane who has passed away at the age of 70.

A native Youghal, County Cork, Mr Keane studied economics at Trinity College Dublin and Georgetown University in Washington DC.

In the late 1970s he joined RTÉ’s Today Tonight programme, which was known for its in-depth analysis and investigative reporting.

He eventually moved into radio, where he worked as a reporter, presenter, producer and series producer.

Mr Keane’s programmes ranged from the award-winning American Profiles series to documentaries with some of the biggest musical stars of the era, including Pete Seeger, Cat Stevens and Burt Bacharach.

He produced and presented several sport series on Gaelic football, hurling, soccer and rugby, while he also interviewed numerous Irish sporting greats such as George Best, Roy Keane, Willie John McBride, Mick O’Connell and Jimmy Doyle.

His documentary A Belfast Game, which profiled the troubles in Northern Ireland through the experiences of Belfast’s Ardoyne Kickhams Under-16 football team, later inspired the Andrew Lloyd Webber West End production The Beautiful Game.

During his time with RTÉ, Mr Keane also presented and produced many radio series – and edited and wrote accompanying books – on mental health, including Nervous Breakdown, The Stress File, Mental Health in Ireland, The Teenage Years and Death and Dying.

In 2003, he retired from broadcasting and embarked on a career as a full-time author.

He wrote about Padre Pio, St. Thérèse of Lisieux and on issues such as near-death experience and deathbed visions.

Eight of his 29 books became No.1 bestsellers.

Mr Keane lived in Co Waterford and was married to former RTÉ newsreader Una O’Hagan. He is predeceased by his son Seán who passed away in 2007.

RTÉ broadcaster John Creedon has tributes to Mr Keane on social media.

“So sorry to learn of the death of our colleague Colm Keane. I'll always fondly remember his enthusiasm & our early-morning chats about Bray Wanderers, music, Youghal, the Irish Saints and any subject you care to mention. Deepest condolences to Una and all of those closest to him,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Another RTÉ colleague of Colm Keane’s sports reporter Tony O’Donoghue has described him as “a great guy”.

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