Keane, Edward Thomas (‘E. T.’) (1867–1945), journalist and editor of the Kilkenny People, was born 16 July 1867, son of Edward Keane, shopkeeper, in Listowel, Co. Kerry, where he was educated at the local primary school and St. Michael's college, before joining the Munster News in Limerick as a junior reporter. Having worked as a journalist for the Clonmel Nationalist, Kilkenny Moderator, and Kilkenny Journal, he and P. J. O'Keefe established the Kilkenny People as a Parnellite newspaper in 1892. In the 1920s he established a second newspaper, the Post, in Kilkenny. On two occasions during the land agitation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, he was arrested and charged with making seditious speeches in Tipperary, but was acquitted.
Often critical of the Irish parliamentary party, he became a supporter of Sinn Féin and played a prominent part in the election of W. T. Cosgrave (qv) as Sinn Féin MP for Kilkenny city in 1917, as a result of which the Kilkenny People was suppressed by the authorities for fourteen weeks. Chairman of the national aid association and the prisoners dependents' fund in Kilkenny, Keane continued to support the independence movement. His newspaper was suppressed again in 1919 and he was arrested and charged with possession of two revolvers, but was released on health grounds having spent some time in Cork prison. A fervent supporter of the Anglo–Irish treaty, he emerged as a trenchant critic of Fianna Fáil, especially during the second world war. Described as ‘the most troublesome gentleman with whom censorship had to deal’ (NAI, Dept Justice, press censorship review), Keane was accused of trying to undermine wartime censorship by frequently ignoring orders to submit articles to the press censor prior to publication, and continuing to write editorials and leaders critical of the government, in particular of the minister for the coordination of defensive measures, Frank Aiken (qv). Plans to prosecute him for prejudicing the interests of the state were dropped after the death of his wife in January 1945. Keane also clashed with the minister of supplies, Seán Lemass (qv), during the war, accusing Lemass of boycotting the Kilkenny People by refusing to place advertisements relating to emergency powers orders in the newspaper.
Having served on Kilkenny corporation for some years, he was also vice-president (1934) and president (1929, 1933) of Irish Associated Newspapers, and a prominent member of the Institute of Journalists. He married (6 July 1895) Alice, daughter of William Cole, a retired RIC member; they had no children. He died 15 May 1945 in Dublin, leaving an estate of £14,794. Ownership of the Kilkenny People remained in the Keane family till it was sold to Scottish Radio Holdings in 2000.