A memoir charting RTÉ broadcaster Keelin Shanley’s life and brave battle with cancer is to hit the shelves this autumn.
The posthumous memoir entitled “A Light That Never Goes Out” chronicles the career of the investigative journalist and co-anchor of RTÉ’s flagship Six One news programme and her long battle with breast cancer that eventually claimed her life last February at just 51.
It is published by Gill and hits the shelves on October 2.
In a poignant introduction to the book, Ms Shanley wrote:
"In spite of everything. In spite of the wig, the scarves, the IV lines, the tests, mum, wife, news presenter, daughter, sister, stepdaughter – I am all of those things. And that’s why I decided to write this book: to remind me of who I am, and to leave those who love me something to hold on to."
Gill’s commissioning editor Deidre Nolan was approached by Ms Shanley via her literary agent Marianne Gunne O'Connor about the book last December despite being in the final stages of terminal breast cancer.
She said: "She was nearing the end and strongly felt she wanted to leave a record of her life behind and we were honoured to help her do so. We put her together with writer Alison Walsh and she helped Keelin write a most extraordinary memoir."
"It is so rare to have such an insight into what someone who is facing death is thinking and feeling, and despite the gravity of the situation she was facing, through her writing Keelin has managed to capture the fleeting beauty of life in way that is awe-inspiring and ultimately uplifting."
The title of the book is based on a song by the Smiths entitled ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’ which was one of Ms Shanley’s favourite bands when she met here husband Conor Ferguson.
He wrote the final chapter of the book following her death.
He said: "Keelin lived such an extraordinary life, she has left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten. Keelin wasn’t prone to nostalgia, she was upfront and a 'doer' from the very beginning. She always grabbed life by the reins and, as a result, didn’t have many regrets.
"Though we miss her every day and remember her in every moment, we hope that her remarkable story will inspire people to live life to the full and put the best foot forward, no matter what obstacles life presents."