Bidding war breaks out for Mammy's memoirs
MARY O'Rourke has revealed that three separate publishers are vying with one another to bring out her memoirs.
The former government minister, who lost her Dail seat in last month's general election, told the Irish Independent she has already completed the prologue to her book and has been extremely busy since her departure from political life.
"I don't like the word retire because I'm really, really busy, I'm talking to publishers, never did I imagine that I'd have three men vying for me but they are publishers, not lovers of any kind," the former leader of the Seanad joked.
And what a read it should be given that Mary has a colourful turn of phrase -- who can forget her revelation on 'Morning Ireland' that she was in her bath when she heard the CIE boss had resigned, her praise of her election team as having "worked like blacks" and her suggestion that somebody should shoot Zimbabwe's President Mugabe?
But she is also uniquely placed to offer a fly on the wall insight to the governments of Charles Haughey, Albert Reynolds and Bertie Ahern, having sat around the Cabinet table with each of them.
However, she is unlikely to dwell on the Eircom flotation which earned her the title of Minister for Privatisation or on her surprise 2002 defeat, a loss she blamed on party strategy.
Last night she would not be drawn on the events which would feature in her book, coyly saying: "I have so much to write about. I do not know how it will fit in one book".
Mrs O'Rourke was speaking after a ceremony in which she was one of four people to be conferred as distinguished fellows of Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT).
The highest honour awarded by the institute was also bestowed on: Dr Donald Panoz, the founder of the Irish biotechnology company Elan; Stephen Grant of Grant Engineering; and Patrick Cooney, who served in a number Fine Gael-led governments between 1973 and 1987.
In Athlone to watch Mrs O'Rourke being conferred yesterday were her nephew, former finance minister Brian Lenihan, her two sons, and her grandchildren, pictured right, Luke (8), Sarah (6), James (4) and Scott (1).
"It was a wonderful occasion, it was a great honour and I was quite buoyed up by it," Mrs O'Rourke said afterwards.