Fergal Keane steps back from high profile BBC role to deal with Post-traumatic stress disorder

Fergal Keane steps back from high profile BBC role to deal with Post-traumatic stress disorder

Fergal Keane, left, pictured in Cork with Manus O'Callaghan in January 2019. He won a Hall of Fame Award at the Cork Person of The Year Awards. 
Pic; Larry Cummins

Journalist Fergal Keane is to step back from his role as BBC News Africa Editor, to focus on an ongoing battle with Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The BBC have said Mr Keane, who was educated at Presentation Brothers College in Cork, was diagnosed several years ago, ‘stemming from several decades of work in conflict zones around the world’.

“He now feels he needs to change his role in order to further assist his recovery,” the BBC said in a statement sent to staff.

Mr Keane has been with the BBC since 1989 and in that time has covered war and conflicts in numerous areas, including genocide in Rwanda and unrest following the end of apartheid in South Africa.

The BBC said Mr Keane will continue to work for the broadcaster in an as yet unconfirmed capacity.

“We are now discussing a new role for Fergal that will enable him to continue to provide original and compelling journalism,” it said.

The broadcaster also paid tribute to his decision to make his diagnosis public: “It’s both brave and welcome that he is ready to be open about PTSD.”

This opinion was echoed by many fellow journalists and members of the public, who praised his honesty after the statement was made public. 

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