“Nobody wants to hear of their dad, you know, being hit over the head with a crutch. It’s awful...”
It could be the opening lines of the latest novel from writer Cecelia Ahern, daughter of former taoiseach Bertie.
Instead, it is her response to the news that her father had been attacked in the Sean O’Casey pub off O’Connell St in Dublin, by a disabled man wielding a crutch.
While she regards her novels as “her babies”, she is even more protective of her dad, as she explains to RTÉ’s Miriam O’Callaghan tomorrow on Radio 1.
That protective nature extends to people blaming her father for the collapse of the Celtic Tiger.
“It happened all over the world and he wasn’t the leader of every country,” she tells Miriam.
The author of bestsellers such as P.S. I Love You; Love, Rosie; and The Gift, she has sold 16m books in 46 countries and has signed another major TV deal to screen her latest novels, The Book of Tomorrow and Thanks for the Memories.
“Now, as an older, crankier, tireder woman, if people were to say these things to me I’d have less patience,” she says. It would really frustrate me; it does frustrate me to still hear it.”
Cecelia, now 30 and a mother of two, also speaks about the anxiety she first endured in her late teens.
“I started getting panic attacks when I was 19 which took over my life,” she says.
“They were really quite bad. I’d be on the bus to college and I’d have to get off and go straight back home again. I didn’t want to see anybody, but it helped me observe people and it helped my writing.”
— For the full interview, tune in to Sunday with Miriam on RTÉ Radio 1 at 10am.
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