Belfast Telegraph

BBC NI bosses pay tribute after the death of award-winning journalist

By Cate McCurry

Tributes have been paid after a man described as one of Northern Ireland's "most talented journalists" passed away yesterday.

Award-winning BBC reporter Seamus Kelters, who was in his late 50s, died following a short illness.

Online tributes from both current and former colleagues praised the father-of-two for his "true professionalism" and "expertise" in the journalistic field.

As a co-author of Lost Lives - which examined every death caused by the Troubles - he was awarded the Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize for the promotion of peace and reconciliation in Ireland.

Peter Johnston, director of BBC Northern Ireland, was among those to pay tribute.

"Seamus was the epitome of BBC journalism and a central figure in the Belfast newsroom for decades," he said.

"He also brought his great skill and knowledge to his significant contribution to public life beyond the BBC and in advising so many young journalists.

"He will be very sadly missed by us all."

Kathleen Carragher, head of BBC News NI, said: "I'm so saddened by this news.

"Seamus was a highly valued colleague and friend, and a huge part of the newsroom.

"He will be sadly missed by us all and we send our deepest sympathies to (his wife) Camilla and his sons."

Seamus started as a senior reporter for the Irish News, specialising in security, fair employment and the case of the Birmingham Six.

He then joined BBC NI, where he produced investigative and political programmes.

Following the publication of Lost Lives, he addressed the European and International Societies for Traumatic Stress Studies and a conference at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

BBC weather presenter Barra Best tweeted: "Saddened to hear of the passing of my friend and colleague Seamus.

"A brilliant journalist and mentor."

The BBC's economics and business editor, John Campbell, said: "Seamus was a man with vast knowledge and journalistic experience.

"But most important was his compassion."

UTV's Ken Reid also tweeted: "Seamus was a wonderful human being. So caring for others and a top professional journalist."

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