On the death of his father, Sam and his mother moved to Belfast in 1921 and lived for a time with a relative in India Street. Sam worked at various jobs and then in 1945 he secured the post of features editor with BBC Northern Ireland.
He was a co-founder of the literary journal Lagan in 1943 and in 1951 he co-edited The Arts in Ulster. He also edited Within Our Province, A Miscellany of Ulster Writing.
His first collection of short stories, Summer Loanen, was published in 1943 and his novels include December Bride (1951), The Hollow Ball (1961), A Man Flourishing (1973) and Across the Narrow Sea (1987).
A series of events has been organised to mark the centenary of his birth and yesterday I unveiled a blue history plaque for the Ulster History Circle. The plaque is at 2 Crescent Gardens in South Belfast, where Sam Hanna Bell lived when he wrote December Bride. His son Fergus Hanna Bell, a member of the Ulster History Circle, was present and spoke about his father during the ceremony. I also commented on Sam Hanna Bell's writings and his role in the BBC.