Billy draws massive crowd at launch of column collection
It was standing room only as household names from the worlds of politics, business, sport, arts and the media queued to get a signed copy of Irish Independent columnist Billy Keane's new book.
Former arts minister Jimmy Deenihan, businessman Bill Cullen and his partner Jackie Lavin, and RTÉ journalist Katie Hannon were among the familiar faces who attended the launch of the Kerry writer's latest book, 'The Best of Billy Keane - From a Writer Who Sees Extraordinary Deeds in Day-to-Day Living' at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel last night.
The book, published by Ballpoint Press and retailing for €14.99, is the columnist's first collection of columns published in this newspaper and 'The Kerryman' over the past 12 years.
"I think they got better as I got older," the publican and father of four said.
"There's a bit of humour and sadness but the whole idea is about the 'shop face' of putting on a brave face when things go wrong and that becomes your actual face."
"Hopefully it will inspire people to go on," he added.
But he said the real heroes of the book are his colleagues at the Irish Independent who worked with him on the collection, which he said was "very much a team effort".
"These are the people who went into making me the superstar that I am today," he said with a laugh.
But Stephen Rae, Editor-in-Chief of Independent News and Media, said Billy is "one of Ireland's most vibrant writers".
"No one can capture Ireland's psyche as well as Billy. It's a really enjoyable book," he said.
Mr Deenihan, who hails from Billy's hometown of Listowel, praised his versatility and flair for creativity.