Remembering the life and works of writer and broadcaster Benedict Kiely.

Benedict Kiely was born in 1919 near Dromore in County Tyrone, the Kiely family moved to Omagh when Benedict was just a year old. Omagh and its surrounding area was to have a lasting influence on his life and work.

The first eighteen years fix you for what you are... and then they stamp you forever.

After working for a short time in Omagh post office, Benedict considered the priesthood as an option. However, he left these considerations behind and moved to Dublin where he worked as a journalist. 

A writer, critic, teacher and broadcaster, Benedict Kiely is remembered not only for his written work but also for his distinctive speaking voice, used to great effect on programmes such as 'Sunday Miscellany'.

Between 1964 and 1968 he was Writer-in-Residence at Emory University in Georgia, visiting professor at the University of Oregon, and Writer-in-Residence at Hollins Collins in Virginia.  He also published numerous novels, short stories and non-fiction works of literary criticism.

His television career included 'Jungle of Pembroke Road' and 'Humours of Donnybrook'. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland (NUI) and by Queens University in Belfast. He was also elected Saoi of Aosdána in 1996. 

Benedict Kiely died on 9 February 2007.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 9 February 2007. The reporter is Sinéad Crowley.