Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Ronan Bennett

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Name  Ronan Bennett
Role  Novelist
Education  King's College London

Ronan Bennett enchessbasecomportals4filesnews2007bennett

Movies  Public Enemies, Lucky Break, Face, Do Armed Robbers Have Love Affairs?, The Hamburg Cell
Nominations  International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, British Academy Television Award for Best Mini Series
Books  The Catastrophist: A Novel, Havoc - in its third year, The Second Prison, Overthrown by Strangers, A Discoverer of the Hu
Similar People  Ann Biderman, Yann Demange, Georgina Henry, Michael Mann, Peter Cattaneo

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Ronan Bennett (born 14 January 1956) is a Northern Irish novelist and screenwriter.


Ronan Bennett Ronan Bennett on C439s Top Boy Indepth Broadcast


Ronan Bennett Channel 4 commissions Hackneybased crime thriller Media

Bennett born in England but raised in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland in a devout Roman Catholic family, the son of William H. and Geraldine Bennett. He attended St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Belfast.

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In 1974, aged 18, Bennett was convicted of murdering Inspector William Elliott, a 49-year-old police officer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary during an Official IRA bank robbery at the Ulster Bank in The Diamond shopping area at Rathcoole, close to his Merville Garden Village home, on 6 September 1974. His conviction was declared unsafe in 1975 and he was released from Long Kesh prison.

Bennett moved to London and in 1978 he was arrested for conspiracy to cause explosions and spent 16 months in prison on remand. Bennett conducted his own defence, and he and his co-defendants were acquitted in 1979. He studied history at King's College London receiving a first class honours degree, and later completed his PhD at the college in 1987. That same year, he was hired as a parliamentary researcher by Jeremy Corbyn MP, later Leader of the Labour Party, in a move that provoked controversy and security concerns.

Bennett lives in London with his family. His partner since King's College, was Georgina Henry, former deputy editor of The Guardian and editor of, the newspaper's website; Henry died in February 2014 from sinus cancer.

Since 2006, he has co-hosted a regular Monday chess column with Daniel King in The Guardian, which seeks to be instructive, rather than topical. Through test positions taken from actual games, their amateur and expert assessments of the possible continuations are discussed and compared. It has been supposed that Nigel Short's column was axed to make way for the new feature and the justification for this change has been the subject of some debate in chess circles.


Bennett has published five novels and two non-fiction works. It was his third novel, The Catastrophist, that brought him into the public eye. This novel was set in the Belgian Congo just before independence, with the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba. Critics hailed the novel, which drew inevitable comparisons to Graham Greene, Joseph Conrad and John le Carré's African novel, The Constant Gardener. It was nominated for the Whitbread Award in 1998. Bennett's fourth novel, Havoc, in its Third Year, was published in 2004. It is a dark tale of Puritan fanaticism, set in a town in northern England in the 1630s, in the decade before Cromwell and his Roundheads took over the kingdom. Havoc was also well received in the press.

Bennett was an uncredited co-author of Stolen Years, the prison memoir of Paul Hill, one of the Guildford Four who were wrongfully convicted in 1975 for the Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings the previous year. Bennett has also written several acclaimed screenplays for film and television, among them The Hamburg Cell and the controversial Rebel Heart. He contributes regularly to the British and Irish press.

In 2006, Bennett's new novel Zugzwang, was published week-by-week in the British Sunday newspaper The Observer. The novel was written in weekly instalments with new chapters being submitted to the newspaper close to publication date. Each chapter was accompanied by illustrations created by British artist Marc Quinn.


Ronan Bennett Wikipedia