Dunne, Seán Christopher (1956–95), poet, editor, and journalist, was born 30 May 1956 at Belleville nursing home, Waterford, son of Richie Dunne, factory worker, and Maureen Dunne (née Walshe). His father and a housekeeper, Tessie Ryan, looked after the family after his mother died in his early childhood. Educated at Scoil Lorcáin and Sion Hill CBS, he became involved with the Waterford Writers' Workshop and had his first poem published in the Waterford News and Star. He entered UCC in 1973, already determined to be a poet and possessed of Byronic airs. His natural enthusiasm overcame his pretensions, and he was soon well known in Cork literary circles. A young radical, bearded and opinionated, he was often to be found in the Long Valley Bar. Fond of practical jokes, he was also known to recite poetry aloud in country pubs, occasionally to the owner's distaste. He graduated BA (1976) and after university he lived in Wellington Road, Cork. He developed an addiction to alcohol but had recovered by 1980. Taking inspiration from Hubert Butler (qv), a writer whose work suggested that the provincial could become universal, he edited Poets of Munster (1985), a collection that includes his translations from the Irish of Seán Ó Riordáin (qv). He was a frequent contributor to RTE radio's ‘Sunday miscellany’ and ‘Poetry choice’. His first published poetry collection was Against the storm (1985): a select subject range of personal experience allows the reader insight to the quiet struggles and occasional victories of ‘Message home’ and ‘Close comfort’. A freelance journalist, he joined the staff of the Cork Examiner in 1986 to write a series of impressions of Munster in ‘Places apart’. He was eventually editor of the weekend supplement. In my father's house (1991) is a sad, witty prose account of his Waterford childhood. Written in naive style, it perfectly records a child's experience of growth in the new Ireland of 1960s housing estates. The sheltered nest (1992) is a development of his quiet poetic voice, notably in ‘Marginal man’, and A Cork anthology (1993) is an eclectic, informing guide to the city's literary traditions. His last work was as editor of Something understood (1995). He died suddenly on 3 August 1995 of a coronary in his sleep at home in Kilcrea Park, Magazine Road, Cork, and is buried in St Gobnait's cemetery, Ballyvourney, Co. Cork.
He married (1979) Sara Gavin; they had three children. Separated from his wife, he was survived by his partner, Trish Edlestein. Waterford corporation hosts an annual Seán Dunne weekend in his honour.