Remembering Seamus Kelters: Pioneering Trauma Journalist

By Joe Hight

Seamus Kelters personified what I mean when I talk about how the modern journalist can be tough and sensitive at the same time.

He was tenacious, he had grit, but he also was sensitive to the plight of people suffering because of conflict. He had personal experience.

Seamus had other great qualities, too. He was a leader. I saw this when we held a conference in County Kerry, Ireland, with Northern Ireland journalists who had covered the decades of violence during The Troubles. I sincerely felt how The Troubles had an impact on their community as the Oklahoma City bombing had on my own. 

He also had a welcoming and caring spirit that represented to me the true character of Northern Ireland journalists. My oldest daughter, Elena, and I saw this personally when we visited Belfast. Seamus took the day off to show us not only the sites of The Troubles but the rich history and culture of his country. We then were treated to a feast at his home with his beautiful family. It will be a day I will always remember, because of Seamus. 

The Dart Center has lost a great member of its community. Journalists like me have lost a friend who we admired and respected for many reasons. My sincere condolences to his family and to the Dart, BBC and Northern Ireland journalism community.