Bestselling author Colm Keane dies aged 70

Former RTÉ broadcaster wrote 29 books, many with a religious theme

Author  Colm Keane (right) is pictured with Billy Bingham at the launch of one of his books. The writer and  former RTÉ staff member has died aged 70. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Author Colm Keane (right) is pictured with Billy Bingham at the launch of one of his books. The writer and former RTÉ staff member has died aged 70. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

 

The death has taken place in Co Waterford of author and former RTÉ broadcaster Colm Keane. He was 70.

Mr Keane was born in Youghal, Co Cork in 1951. He attended Trinity College Dublin, where he graduated with a B.A. (Mod.) degree and subsequently awarded an M.A. in Economics and Political Science.

He also studied at Georgetown University (Washington D.C.), where he obtained an MA degree in Economics.

The author of 29 books, he wrote extensively on near-death experiences in his book Going Home: Irish Stories from the Edge of Death where he interviewed 60 people who had almost died. It was a bestseller when it was published in 2009.

In a 26-year career with RTÉ, he produced and presented documentaries on a wide range of subjects including pop music, sport, politics, crime and Irish history. His interviewees included Cat Stevens, Burt Bacharach and George Best.

He co-presented RTÉ Radio 1’s first drive-time show with Mary McAleese, who went on to become president, and produced the Pat Kenny Show during Italia ‘90.

He became a full-time author in 2003, writing eight Irish bestsellers including Going Home, We’ll Meet Again and Heading for the Light.

His other works included three books on the Italian saint Padre Pio: Padre Pio - The Irish Connection, Padre Pio - The Scent of Roses and Padre Pio - Irish Encounters with the Saint.

His last work, The Book of St Brigid, was co-written with his wife Una O’Hagan a former RTÉ newscaster, and was published last year. The couple’s only son Sean tragically died in 2007 from cancer aged 20.