Friday 21 July 2017

'The Best of Billy Keane' - Household names gather at the launch of book

INM's Stephen Rae with Billy Keane and his daughter Laura Keane at the book launch of 'The Best of Billy Keane' at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
INM's Stephen Rae with Billy Keane and his daughter Laura Keane at the book launch of 'The Best of Billy Keane' at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

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 this evening.

Former Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan, businessman Bill Cullen and his partner Jackie Lavin and RTE journalist Katie Hannon were among the familiar faces who attended the launch of the county 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.

Billy Keane with Jackie Lavin and Bill Cullen at the book launch. Photo: Arthur Carron
Billy Keane with Jackie Lavin and Bill Cullen at the book launch. Photo: Arthur Carron

The book, published by Ballpoint Press and retailing for €14.99, is the columnist’s first collection of columns published in The Irish Independent and ‘The Kerryman’ over the past 12 years and according to the self-effacing writer, “I think they got better as I got older.”

“There’s a bit of humour and sadness but the whole idea is about the ‘shop face’ on putting on a brave face when things go wrong and that becomes your actual face,” he said.“Hopefully it will inspire people to go on,” he said.

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 described as “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.”

Mr Deenihan, who hails from Billy’s hometown of Listowel, praised his versatility and flair for creativity.

Billy Keane at the book launch of 'The Best of Billy Keane' at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Billy Keane at the book launch of 'The Best of Billy Keane' at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron

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