Former Taoiseach Charles Haughey asked best selling author Frederick Forsyth for security advice when the Pope visited Ireland in 1979.
And some time later, when Forsyth was worried that his young sons might become a kidnap target for the IRA, Haughey gave him a personal guarantee this would not happen.
The unlikely friendship between the two men is chronicled in a chapter called 'Five Years in Ireland' in Forsyth's new book titled 'The Outsider - My Life in Intrigue'.
"There was not the slightest reason why Irish politician Charles Haughey and I would get on, but we did," Forsyth writes.
"To his political enemies he was relentless and vengeful for any slight or ill-turn. When relaxed over a dinner table, I found him an amusing rogue," he added
Forsyth and his wife had left the UK for Spain in 1974 to escape an 80pc income tax rate imposed on high earners by the new Labour government. In December that year they moved to Ireland and settled in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.