On 30 May 2002 Irish playwright and novelist, John B Keane, passed away. RTÉ News reports on the life of the Listowel writer.

John B Keane enjoyed nothing better than telling stories.

John B Keane was born in Listowel, county Kerry in July 1928. He inherited a love of literature from his father who was a primary school teacher. His mother, a Michael Collins supporter, inspired his fascination with politics.

During his lifetime he became one of the most prolific Irish literary figures. His breakthrough came when the Listowel Drama Group won the first prize at the All-Ireland Amateur Drama Festival in 1959 with his play 'Sive'.

Keane wrote more than 18 plays and 32 works of prose and poetry, many of which were influenced by his experiences in his native Listowel. While many of his works were about local issues with coarse language, they had international appeal.

In 1982 his play 'Big Maggie' played for 63 nights on Broadway and in 1990 his play 'The Field' was made into a film starring Richard Harris and Brenda Fricker. He also received honorary university doctorates and literary awards. 

John B Keane remained modest, accessible and down to earth happiest with his wife Mary and family and among his own people. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 May 2002. The reporter is Paschal Sheehy.